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October 17, 2001 at 12:00 AM EDT

Quidel Corporation Offers Free Flu Tests to Public Health Agencies in Bioterrorism Planning

SAN DIEGO, Oct. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Quidel Corporation (Nasdaq: QDEL), a leading provider of rapid point-of-care (POC) diagnostic tests, today announced that -- in the wake of the recent bioterrorism fears -- the company is offering free QuickVue(R) Influenza tests to public health organizations nationwide to help distinguish the symptoms of flu from those of other illnesses, including anthrax. Respiratory anthrax has symptoms that can mimic those of flu.

"Acute pulmonary anthrax and influenza present with nearly the same picture. With an individual having a positive Quidel QuickVue Influenza test coupled with the absence of community anthrax exposure or activity, the probability of pulmonary anthrax is extremely low," said D.J. Ferner, M.D., FACEP, St. Vincent/Mercy Medical Center, Toledo, Ohio.

"By making a quick and accurate diagnosis of the flu, anxiety and undue concern over anthrax can be quickly alleviated. The QuickVue Influenza test gives an accurate diagnosis of acute influenza versus other flu-like illnesses," said D. Bruce Irwin, M.D., President, American Family Care Medical Centers.

Throughout the upcoming flu season Quidel Corporation will donate 50 rapid flu tests to any licensed state or federal public health organization which is experiencing a regional influenza outbreak as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) influenza surveillance network. Public health organizations are asked to monitor influenza activity at CDC's influenza surveillance site http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/flu/weekly.htm. To request free flu tests, public health organizations are asked to contact Quidel by either calling 858-552-7949, or e-mail sness@quidel.com.

Every year, more than 90 million people in the United States have flu-like symptoms, but many do not have influenza.

"The widespread use of the QuickVue Influenza test will aid physicians to rule out influenza and alleviate public fear during flu season," said S. Wayne Kay, Quidel's President and Chief Executive Officer.

"The mechanics of the QuickVue test can be taught in minutes to basic healthcare workers and can be administered anywhere without any special equipment," added D.J. Ferner, M.D.

The QuickVue Influenza test is a simple, three-step, one-reagent, test that provides results in ten minutes or less. The test is CLIA-waived, allowing the patient to be tested and treated in one office visit.

About Quidel
Quidel Corporation discovers, develops, manufactures and markets rapid point-of-care diagnostic tests for detection of medical conditions and illnesses. These products provide accurate, rapid and cost-effective diagnostic information for acute and chronic conditions associated with women's health, in areas such as reproduction and diseases of the elderly. Quidel also provides point-of-care diagnostics for infectious diseases, including influenza A and B, strep throat, H. pylori infection, chlamydia, infectious mononucleosis and bacterial vaginosis. Quidel's products are sold to healthcare professionals for use in physicians' offices, clinical laboratories and pharmacies, and to consumers through organizations that provide private label, store brand products. These tests provide diagnostic information to enable rapid treatment and improve health outcomes, lower costs and increase patient satisfaction. For more information, please visit Quidel's Web site at http://www.quidel.com.

This press release contains forward-looking statements regarding Quidel's future activities within the meaning of the federal securities laws. These forward-looking statements involve material risks and uncertainties. Many possible factors could affect the future results and performance of Quidel's products, such that actual results and performance may differ materially. If Quidel's products fail to perform as expected, or if there is lower consumer demand for these products than expected, Quidel's financial condition and operating results may be materially and adversely affected. Quidel's financial condition and operating results may also be materially and adversely affected by a number of other factors, including, without limitation, seasonality, adverse changes (both domestically and internationally) in competitive and economic conditions, actions by the Company's distributors, manufacturing and production delays or difficulties and adverse actions or delays in product reviews by the FDA. Please see the discussion of these and other factors in Quidel's annual report on Form 10-K and subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q.

Bruce Voss, bvoss@lhai.com,
or Martin Halsall,mhalsall@lhai.com,
both of Lippert/Heilshorn & Associates,+1-310-691-7100, for Quidel;
or Andrea Wasilew, Manager of Investor Relations, +1-858-552-7955, ir@quidel.com,
or Paul E.Landers, Vice President & CFO, +1-858-552-7962,
both of QuidelCorporation