Amid a spurt in influenza, COVID-19 and other respiratory infections in the national capital, private hospitals and laboratories are offering comprehensive packages to eliminate the need for repeated testing. Influenza, coronavirus, respiratory syncytial virus, among others, usually share common symptoms like cough, runny nose and fever, and many a times a single test does not diagnose the disease. India generally sees two peaks of seasonal influenza — from January to March and the post-monsoon season. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said the rise in influenza cases is due to the Influenza A subtype H3N2 virus. Hospitals across the country have been reporting a large number of influenza cases over the past few months. ”Taking into account the significant increase in viral infections in the city, we have launched a multiplex PCR-based comprehensive flu panel which comprises 17 pathogens, including all common viruses such as Covid, influenza viruses, Parainfluenza viruses, Metapneumovirus, Adenovirus, Enterovirus, Rhinovirus, RSV and others,” Arjun Dang, CEO and Partner, Dr. Dangs Lab said. In addition, the pathology lab also offers a comprehensive respiratory panel which tests for 22 pathogens, including common bacteria and all the common circulating strains of viruses causing the current outbreak of flu. ”The advantage is that these tests provide the results in just a few hours, are highly sensitive and not affected by any antibiotics the patient may have taken prior to the test as they detect the nucleic acid of the pathogen,” he said. Based on the results, timely clinical decisions can be made along with a rationalised usage of antibiotics and antivirals.