Feb 14, 2020 - Health

CDC will have flu surveillance labs test for coronavirus

Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Five public labs across the United States will work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to use its existing flu surveillance network to test individuals with flu-like symptoms for the novel coronavirus, the agency said Friday.

The big picture: The labs in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago and New York City will evaluate negative influenza tests for COVIS-19, in preparation for spread across the U.S. The agency plans to expand to more labs.

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FDA allows states to test for coronavirus for faster results

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shipped the diagnostic test for the novel coronavirus to more than 100 public health labs nationwide, allowing states to test for coronavirus cases themselves and receive results quicker.

Why it matters: The FDA bypassed usual regulatory channels to distribute the test under an Emergency Use Authorization, which has been used in life-threatening situations like MERS, Ebola and the Zika virus.

Go deeperArrowFeb 6, 2020 - Health

More than 100 children have died from the flu so far this season

Influenza vaccine. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

105 children have reportedly died in the U.S. from the flu, the highest so far this season, per data released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The big picture: Health officials typically treat a high rate of seniors, a vulnerable population during flu season, but this year, children and young adults have been more susceptible.

Go deeperArrowFeb 21, 2020 - Health

Why we panic about coronavirus, but not the flu

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

If you’re freaking out about coronavirus but you didn’t get a flu shot, you’ve got it backwards.

The big picture: A novel outbreak will always command more attention than a common illness, and the coronavirus is a serious health threat. But our newfound hyper-vigilance about infections might be more helpful if we could redirect some of it toward influenza — a significantly deadlier virus that strikes every year.

Go deeperArrowJan 29, 2020