Near East University developed the local PCR Diagnostic kit made available in the TRNC and designed a hybrid diagnostic kit that simultaneously detects influenza and COVID-19. Thanks to the kit designed in line with the recommendations of the US Center for Disease Prevention and Control, the hybrid kits, which include SARS-CoV-2 as well as influenza A and B viruses, will enable the simultaneous transition of the TRNC with the whole world.
It is of great importance in terms of pandemic management to distinguish flu infections, the prevalence of which increases with the arrival of the autumn-winter months, from COVID-19, whose symptoms are quite similar. Near East University has signed an important project in order to prevent people who have flu from experiencing a COVID-19 panic and especially to prevent the hospital capacity from being strained. Near East University designed a hybrid PCR Diagnostic Kit that detects viruses that cause influenza and COVID-19 from the same sample, by developing the domestic PCR Kit, the design and R&D of which belongs entirely to itself. Thanks to the kit designed in line with the recommendations of the US Center for Disease Prevention and Control, the hybrid kits that can detect SARS-CoV-2 and influenza A and B viruses will enable simultaneous transit of the TRNC with the whole world.
Flu and COVID-19 symptoms are similar
The kit, designed and developed by Near East University scientists, will be able to diagnose influenza (influenza), a highly contagious respiratory disease, and COVID-19, which is a common and highly contagious respiratory disease, generally between October and late March and early April, from the same sample.
With the approach of the winter months, the influenza epidemic that will develop in addition to the COVID-19 pandemic can lead to folded health problems. The coexistence of these two diseases, on the one hand, complicates the diagnosis and treatment problems in patients, on the other hand, it is thought that the "twin" disease that may occur may have a serious impact.
Influenza viruses, which are seasonal flu agents, can easily be transmitted from person to person. In winter, when people spend more time indoors, the disease reaches its peak. Similar to SARS-CoV-19, which causes COVID-2, influenza viruses spread by droplet route and indirect contact make the diagnosis of the disease difficult due to the similarity of symptoms between the two diseases. Symptoms such as fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, feeling of tiredness and joint pain, sore throat, runny nose in both diseases reveal the importance of diagnosis with molecular PCR tests in clinical samples.
The flu-COVID-19 hybrid test kit designed in the research laboratories of the Near East University is of great importance especially for school-age children, individuals with chronic diseases and the elderly in Northern Cyprus, as the flu epidemic period is entered.
prof. Dr. İrfan Suat Günsel: “The fact that COVID-19 and flu, which have similar symptoms, will be differentiated with a single sample and a single test will minimize the burden on our health system.”
Reminding that they started to use the PCR Diagnosis and Variant Analysis Kit, all design and R&D processes of which were carried out by the Near East University, in July with the approval of the TRNC Ministry of Health, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Near East University Prof. Dr. İrfan Suat Günsel said, “We are happy to meet another important need of our country by completing the development of the Influenza-COVID-19 Hybrid PCR Diagnostic Kit. Making the distinction between COVID-19 and flu, which have similar symptoms, with a single sample and a single test will minimize the burden on our health system.
prof. Dr. Tamer Şanlıdağ: “With the Influenza-COVID-19 Hybrid PCR Diagnostic Kit we have developed, we can detect the virus that is the source of infection in patients with upper respiratory tract infection from a single sample.”
Stating that they detected co-infections with SARS-CoV-19 and different respiratory tract viruses in some patients diagnosed with COVID-2, Near East University Deputy Rector Prof. Dr. Tamer Şanlıdağ said that with the Influenza-COVID-19 Hybrid PCR Diagnostic Kit they developed, they can detect the virus, which is the source of infection, from a single sample in patients with upper respiratory tract infection.
Assoc. Dr. Buket Baddal: “We developed the Influenza-COVID-19 Hybrid PCR Diagnostic Kit in line with the recommendations of the US Centers for Disease Prevention and Control and the US Food and Drug Administration.”
Near East University COVID-19 PCR Diagnostic Laboratory Responsible Assoc. Dr. Buket Baddal said that the domestic Influenza-COVID-19 Hybrid PCR Diagnostic Kit they developed was developed in line with the recommendations of the US Center for Disease Prevention and Control and the American Food and Drug Administration, and said that within the scope of the fight against COVID-19, for the simultaneous flu epidemic expected in the winter months. He stated that they have completed all the preparations in the research laboratories.