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Earlier this week Quidel (NASDAQ:QDEL), which makes “rapid point-of-care” diagnostic tests, announced that it had received 510(k) clearance from the FDA for its new Respiratory Syncytial Virus test. The test allows for rapid detection of the potentially deadly disease, known better as RSV, infants. The press release says the disease has a mortality rate of about 2% in infants, all of whom become infected by the second year of life.

But an article cited in a footnote to the press release says, “"Although most RSV infections are usually mild to moderate in severity and can be treated on an outpatient basis, each year RSV is responsible for approximately 125,000 pediatric hospitalizations, with a mortality rate of about 2%..." Translated, that means 2%, or 2,500 of the 125,000 kids hospitalized each year die -- not 2% of all kids who get the disease.

In response to my question, CFO Paul Landers, who is retiring and just registered to sell 353,159 shares, acknowledged the error, but said the press release won’t bee corrected and re-issued. “The key intent of the release was the FDA approval,” he said. “Additionally, we had provided footnote disclosure.” Yeah, but... the beat goes on...

Source: Questioning a Quidel Press Release