Navigating Flu Season

As the crisp air settles in and temperatures drop, another season descends upon us—the flu season. An annual event impacting millions worldwide, flu season is characterised by the circulation of various viruses causing respiratory illnesses like colds and flu. Understanding the pathogens responsible for these ailments, how infections develop and, ultimately, resolve is crucial in navigating this period of heightened health concerns.


What is the cause?

Several viruses contribute to colds and flu, with the most prevalent being:

Influenza Virus: The primary cause of flu, influenza viruses (Types A, B, C) mutate constantly, making it challenging to develop effective long-term immunity.
Rhinovirus: Responsible for a significant portion of common cold cases, rhinoviruses are highly contagious and thrive in colder temperatures.
Coronaviruses: While some strains can cause severe respiratory illnesses (as witnessed with COVID-19), others cause mild cold-like symptoms.
Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV): Common in infants and older adults, RSV can lead to severe respiratory infections.


How does it start?

Infection typically begins when a person comes into contact with respiratory droplets containing these viruses. This can occur through direct contact with an infected person, touching contaminated surfaces or inhaling droplets released during coughing or sneezing.

Upon entry into the body, these pathogens target the respiratory tract's cells, attaching themselves and initiating infection. They replicate rapidly, leading to symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, sore throat, nasal congestion, body aches and fatigue. The body's immune system responds by sending white blood cells to combat the invading viruses, leading to inflammation and the all too familiar flu symptoms.

How do we recover?

Recovery from a cold or flu depends on various factors, including the individual's immune system, the specific virus strain, and any underlying health conditions. The main factors involved in recovery are:

Immune Response: The body's immune system sets up a defence by producing antibodies specific to the invading virus. These antibodies help neutralise the virus and prevent further infection.
Clearance of the Virus: Over time, the immune system, along with natural defence mechanisms like mucus production and coughing, works to eliminate the virus from the body.
Symptoms Relief: Supportive care, including rest, hydration, over-the-counter medications, and sometimes antiviral drugs (in the case of Influenza), helps manage discomfort and aids in recovery.
Duration: While most colds resolve within a week, flu symptoms may linger for a few weeks, with fatigue persisting longer.

How do we detect it?

Having reliable diagnostic tools is crucial for minimising respiratory illnesses amidst the flu season. EUROArray PneuVir is one of the solutions provided my EUROIMMUN to aid in the diagnosis and management of these respiratory diseases.

PneuVir is a PCR-based multiplex assay capable of detecting and differentiating various respiratory viruses using the EUROArray technology. It works on amplifying specific gene sections of known respiratory pathogens such as Influenza, Coronaviruses and RSV and it detects these amplified products via a hybridisation reaction with immobilised DNA probes within a microarray system. With the ability to identify 17 different viruses in a single assay, it offers healthcare professionals a comprehensive diagnostic tool for swift and accurate detection.

An added benefit of PneuVir is its role in preventing unnecessary antibiotic treatments for non-specific respiratory symptoms. By precisely pinpointing the responsible viral agents, this diagnostic tool allows healthcare providers to make informed decisions regarding treatment plans. This is a crucial step in reducing unnecessary medication usage, mitigating potential antibiotic resistance, and ensuring patients receive appropriate care.

In addition, the PneuVir test kit includes a set of controls that ensure the accuracy and quality of the results obtained. The results of the test can then be read on the EUROArrayScan Software, an intuitive platform that makes result interpretation easier and more objective.

How do we prevent it?

Preventing the spread of cold and flu viruses involves simple yet effective measures:

  • Vaccination: Annual flu shots can significantly reduce the risk and severity of flu infections.
  • Hand Hygiene: Regular handwashing and using hand sanitizers help prevent the spread of viruses.
  • Respiratory Etiquette: Covering mouth and nose while sneezing or coughing and avoiding close contact with sick individuals can limit transmission.
  • Boosting Immunity: Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, adequate sleep, and managing stress, supports a robust immune system.


Flu season serves as a reminder of the importance of taking proactive steps to safeguard our health. Understanding the pathogens responsible for colds and flu, recognising the journey of infection, and embracing preventative measures significantly contribute to minimising the impact of these viral illnesses. By prioritising personal health and employing preventive strategies, individuals can navigate flu season with resilience and minimise the risk to well-being. In addressing these respiratory infections, EUROArray PneuVir proves to be a valuable asset. Its ability to identify various respiratory viruses enables quick and accurate diagnosis and improves patient care, playing a significant role in tackling seasonal illnesses.



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