A new strain of the avian influenza virus appeared in China in 2013. This particular `bird flu', influenza A/H7N9 virus (detected in China in 2013), kills one in three people infected. In two successive and increasing waves, this virus has moved across China and crossed the Chinese border into Hong Kong, Taiwan and Malaysia1. According to CDC it is possible that the virus can appear in the US2. This past week, another case of influenza A /H7N9 virus was reported in Hong Kong.
This virus caught the attention of the US government and Swiss government because of its pandemic lethal potential. Rapid, simple, and affordable detection is a critical defense against such a threat. Arbor Vita Corporation (AVC), a privately held company, announced today that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for their AVC A/H7N9 Influenza Rapid Test for the presumptive detection of the influenza A /H7N9 virus (detected in China in 2013) in patients with signs and symptoms of respiratory infection in conjunction with epidemiological risk factors”.