As we head into the flu season, we have new technology on our side. The government has given the okay for use of a new machine, which uses a test developed by the CDC to determine in just hours, instead of days, which strain of flu you have. President of Applied Biosystems, Mark Stevenson, says, "We can target much earlier what is the right flu shot to give people. At the moment we're rather slow in reacting to this. This would be a much faster way to say, here's the strains that have come out this year, here's the right flu shot".
In addition to making sure that we're getting the right flu shot for the strain that's going around, the CDC says it will also allow health officials to determine if someone has the bird flu. If so, that virus could be spotted quickly and treated early, something that could prevent a major outbreak.
The CDC plans to put the system in 60 public health labs nationwide very soon.