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Travel Med Infect Dis. 2007 Sep;5(5):310-3. Epub 2007 Sep 6.

Value of rapid testing for influenza among Hajj pilgrims.

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  • 1Academic Unit of Child Health, Queen Mary University of London, UK.



Muslim pilgrims going on the Hajj are at risk of influenza. The treatment and prevention of influenza with antiviral drugs depends on rapid diagnosis using a near-patient test such as the QuickVue influenza test. The suitability of this test among pilgrims has not been studied in the past and this study assesses the usefulness of the test for diagnosing influenza among those attending the Hajj.


The sensitivity and specificity of the QuickVue test were measured against reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction by undertaking the tests on nasal swab samples from pilgrims.


The sensitivity and specificity of the QuickVue test were 22% and 99%, respectively, and its likelihood ratio for a positive and a negative test were 22 and 0.79 in that order.


The QuickVue influenza test using nasal swabs is poorly sensitive for diagnosing influenza among Hajj pilgrims. Given its high specificity and an even higher likelihood ratio for a positive test it may still be a very useful tool for influenza surveillance at the Hajj.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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