A multi-virus test able to detect COVID-19, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus with a single swab has been approved in Australia.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration has given the green light to the self-testing nasal swab that can diagnose the three different viruses within 15 minutes, with hope it can alleviate the spread of infection this winter.

"Akin to the RAT tests we've become accustomed to, the Triple Combo Test boasts a sensitivity rate for all three viruses and an accuracy rate of over 98 per cent," its Australian-based developer and manufacturer Touch Biotechnology said.

Resembling a mild cold, RSV can cause breathing and lung problems like bronchiolitis and pneumonia. The virus is very infectious and people over the age of 65 with vulnerable immune systems and children under three are at the highest risk of serious illness.

Australians are recommended to take the test for RSV, flu and COVID-19 when they feel unwell, have any symptoms or have been in contact with someone who has these viruses.

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