Friday, September 22, 2023

Can You Test For The Flu

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When Was Flu Diagnosed

Could testing positive for the flu, mean you can’t contract COVID-19?

The 1918-1919 outbreak of the virus is not universally recognized as the origin of the virus, but it spread worldwide. First identified by military personnel in 1918, it has since spread throughout the world. Approximately 500 million people or one third of the worlds population are thought to have been affected by this virus.

Is There Anything Else I Need To Know About A Flu Test

A new flu vaccine is made each fall. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the vaccine for most people 6 months or older. It is especially recommended for people in high-risk groups, such as young children, adults over the age of 65, and individuals with pre-existing conditions, such as asthma or heart disease. If you have questions about the flu vaccine, talk to your health care provider.

Flu Test Versus Covid 19 Test

The biggest benefit of the multiplex test is that it does not delay treatment while health care providers work to diagnose the specific cause of a patients symptoms. Given the overlap in symptoms between influenza and COVID-19, this is critical. While symptoms can range in severity for both COVID-19 and flu, both illnesses share many common symptoms.


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When Should I Use Rapid Tests

For individuals who arent symptomatic or havent been in close contact with a confirmed positive case, rapid tests are a good screening tool, according to Dr. Miller. The caveat is that you want to perform a couple tests a few days apart because sometimes very early after exposure, theres not enough virus present for rapid tests to capture it, he says. And if you plan on using rapid tests ahead of a small gathering, Dr. Miller says its also critical to do a test the day of the event.

Although rapid tests arent as sensitive as PCR test results, Dr. Miller says theyre still a good addition to your tool kit. People can have rapid test negative outcomes and still test PCR positive, so its not perfect. But the good thing about rapid tests is that they directly look for virus, whereas PCR tests look for fragments of the virus, which can sometimes persist in individuals long after theyre infectious.

Cdc’s Pcr Test Does Not Confuse Covid

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The Gateway Pundit article claims the CDC admitted the soon-to-be-retired PCR test “can not differentiate between the flu and COVID virus.”

It claimed flu cases were so low in 2020, then, because the test was counting flu cases as COVID-19. But that’s nonsense. Gateway Pundit was misunderstanding the use of the term differentiate.

In an August news release, the CDC wrote the PCR test was specifically designed only to detect the viral genetic material of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 not influenza, which causes the flu.

“It does not detect influenza or differentiate between influenza and SARS-CoV-2,” the website states.

In other words, it’s not that the test can’t tell the two apart, it’s that the test was designed only to detect COVID-19. The CDC spelled this one by noting someone with the flu would not create a false positive for COVID-19 with this test.

Experts told USA TODAY in July it’s “technically impossible” for the CDC’s PCR test to confuse SARS-CoV-2 and the influenza virus.

PCR tests identify and amplify converted viral RNA until the virus’s genetic makeup can be detected and analyzed.

In this case, since the CDC’s PCR test was made to only identify SARS-Cov-2, it cannot detect or confuse the genetic sequences of another virus such as influenza, according to Dr. Petros Giannikopoulos, medical director of the Innovative Genomics Institutes COVID-19 testing consortium.

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How Contagious Is The Flu

You may be contagious one day before developing flu symptoms and five to seven days after symptoms present. This period of time can be extended for kids or people with weakened immune systems. Tips to defend yourself against influenza:

  • Get the flu shot before the end of October
  • Practice good hand hygiene
  • Exercise! It can help build your immune system
  • Practice relaxation techniques such as yoga. Your body can repair itself by limiting stress

Flu Strikes Younger Adults Hard This Year

Contrary to previous reports of the H1N1 influenza causing more severe symptoms than the seasonal flu, researchers found that people who had the 2009 pandemic strain a newer one that many people have less resistance to actually showed milder symptoms. Hayward says this calls for a better understanding of the severity of not only seasonal flu but of new strains when it comes to developing preventive measures.

The results, published Monday in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, suggest that commonly used statistics based on the number of hospital visits and deaths significantly underestimate the extent of flu infections and illnesses.

“If you want to understand how severe it is, you really need to understand not only the number of people who end up in hospitals or die but also the number of people in the community who are infected in the first place,” Hayward says. “So we need better methods of picking those people up.”

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Where Can You Get A Flu Tests

Flu tests are available at most doctors offices, urgent care settings, and hospitals.

Rapid flu tests are usually less costly than laboratory-based tests. According to Beckers Hospital Review, rapid tests cost about $5 to $10, while a laboratory test can cost $200 or more.

You may wish to contact a facility where youre seeking testing to ensure they have flu tests available, especially if youre in flu season, which usually takes place in the late fall to winter.

Flu Test Vs Covid Test

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As the health care community prepares for flu season, one key challenge is discerning whether patients have COVID-19 or seasonal influenza, given that both illnesses have similar symptoms. A laboratory test is needed to accurately diagnose either ailment. This increased need for testing has potential to tax a healthcare system thats already severely resource-constrained.

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What Is The Combined Nasal Test For Flu And Covid

A combined nasal test for the flu and for COVID-19 is a single swab test designed to look for both the flu virus and COVID-19 virus. Health care providers now have the option of providing a combined nasal test to detect the presence of COVID-19 and influenza A and B.

This multiplex test is performed the same as the COVID-19 swab test. The test swab is inserted straight back horizontally to the nasopharynx until resistance is met, and rotated up to five times for 5 to 10 seconds.

Due to the similarity of flu and coronavirus symptoms, the multiplex test provides much needed rapid direction as to how to treat a patients medical needs.

The Real Reason For Withdrawing The Eua Request

The first Facebook post we referenced quoted from and linked to a that informed labs that as of Dec. 31 the agency would withdraw its emergency use authorization request for the CDC 2019 or, for short, the CDC 2019-nCoV RT-PCR.

It is standard practice for the Food and Drug Administration to issue temporary emergency use authorizations for tests and other medical products that have not yet undergone the FDAs full approval process but need to be used in an emergency to diagnose, treat or prevent serious diseases.

The FDA issued the EUA for the CDCs 2019-nCoV RT-PCR in . At that time, no other tests were available in the U.S. to determine whether someone had COVID.

But its important to remember that what the CDC developed and submitted for its EUA request was not a tangible product but rather a protocol for how to test for COVID, said Susan Whittier, a professor of pathology and cell biology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. That means the CDC wrote out directions specifying which reagents were needed to test the laboratory samples for the presence of the COVID virus. The CDC does not distribute COVID tests.

Its not like they have a test that laboratories can purchase. We borrow their protocol and use the reagents that they say, said Whittier, who recently retired as director of the clinical microbiology lab at Columbia. So withdrawing the EUA request just means that protocol will no longer be available.

Polage agreed.

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Flu Vs Covid: How To Tell Them Apart

COVID isn’t the flu. Here’s what you need to know and how testing can help you know what you’re treating.

COVID isn’t the flu. And the flu isn’t COVID. Here’s what you need to know as we head into respiratory virus season and how you can know it.

Flu vs. COVID-19: Telling Them ApartThese viruses can have the appearance of nearly being twins.

  • Fever or feeling feverish and having chills?
  • Cough?
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing?
  • Fatigue?
  • Muscle pain or body aches?
  • Headache?
  • Even change in or loss of taste or smell?

All are symptoms that someone may have for both.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report “COVID-19 and flu can spread from person-to-person between people who are in close contact with one another . Both are spread mainly by large and small particles containing virus that are expelled when people with the illness cough, sneeze, or talk.”

With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing and flu season in the Northern Hemisphere set to begin with a peak around the new year and as mitigating factors like distancing and wearing masks vary from state to state there’s one way to know for sure what you’re dealing with, to put the ID in COVID or the flu.


Worse, with fewer flu cases, this year’s flu shot formulations are based on less data, meaning their effectiveness could be lessened.


Why Do You Need It

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When your doctor finds the flu virus, they can give you antiviral drugs early on. This is when they work best. If you get diagnosed early — within 48 hours after symptoms show up — these drugs can ease your symptoms and shorten the illness by a day or so. After the first 2 days, though, these meds wont do much for you.

A flu test can also help your doctor rule out giving you antibiotics. Those dont work against viral infections like the flu.

Also Check: Uti And Flu Like Symptoms

Does The Recall Mean The Original Cdc Pcr Test Gave Inaccurate Results

No. The PCR test was extraordinarily accurate in identifying the right virus: SARS-CoV-2.

“Just because the original test wasn’t built to detect influenza doesn’t mean that it wasn’t accurately reporting results,” Dr. Broadhurst explains. “We can be very confident that a positive result from a PCR test represents a true case of SARS-CoV-2 because of how these tests were designed.”

Even If You Don’t Have Symptoms You May Still Have The Flu

Linda Poon

Just the sniffles? Could be the flu.hide caption

toggle caption

Just the sniffles? Could be the flu.

Fever, muscle aches, nausea these are what we usually associate with having the flu.

But just because you don’t exhibit these symptoms, it doesn’t mean you don’t have the flu, researchers say. And you could be just as contagious. In fact, their study found that roughly three-quarters of people with seasonal or pandemic flu show either no symptoms or mild ones that aren’t usually linked to flu.

” flu is more common than we thought, but often less severe than what we had thought,” says Andrew Hayward, an epidemiologist at University College London and the study’s lead author.

People often mistake the flu for the common cold, Hayward tells Shots. “A lot of the time you may just have a runny nose, a bit of a cough, perhaps a sore throat,” he says. But the classic flu symptoms of a sudden fever and muscle aches “the study shows that that very often doesn’t happen. And it’s often a much more mild illness.”

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Research Shows New Flu Viruses Often Arise In Domestic Animals

He adds that though there needs to be more research done, it may be that some of the people who have milder symptoms are still potentially infectious, which calls for doctors to rethink some of the initiatives on how to stop the flu from spreading.

According to Hayward, few people visit the doctor when they have the flu, and even when they do, doctors rarely diagnose them as having influenza.

It’s not enough, he says, to just tell people to stay home to avoid spreading the illness, especially if they aren’t struck with the debilitating symptoms of a severe flu. And while flu vaccines are still important, they aren’t 100 percent effective among healthy young adults and are even less so among the elderly population.

But this study should not be taken to mean that the flu is as trivial as the common cold. “The flu is very common, and often mild, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t take it seriously because from time to time it can lead to very severe complications,” he says.

And while doctors work on rethinking the spread of flu, Hayward says people can protect themselves by getting vaccinated and by regularly washing their hands.

When Will There Be A Vaccine For Covid

A new 15-minute test can tell you if you have COVID-19 or influenza

What about headlines about a possible fast-track into production for the COVID-19 vaccine? Dont expect it to be available to anyone but high-risk health care workers before 2021.

Distribution will be managed by public health authorities due to the complexity of the distribution program, the necessity for two doses of vaccine within a month for each person, and the need to target vaccination initially to high priority recipients, says Kelly. It’s reasonable to expect that most people will not have the opportunity to get to a COVID-19 vaccine series until next summer at the earliest. One more reason to go out and get your flu vaccine right away, and to keep diligently following every precaution to reduce the risk and spread of both viruses this winter.

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How Are Samples Collected For Rapid Influenza Diagnostic Tests

There are two main methods of getting a sample for testing:

  • Swab test: Your doctor will use a special swab to take a sample from your nose or throat.
  • Nasal aspirate: Your doctor will inject a saline solution into your nose and then remove a sample with gentle suction.
  • These samples are checked for the presence of viral particles. A positive result means that the rapid influenza diagnostic test detected the influenza viral particle in the fluid. However, this does not necessarily mean the virus is alive and thriving in the body because it may also detect a dead viral particle.

    • A positive result is most likely a true positive result if the respiratory specimen was collected close to illness onset during periods of high influenza activity.
    • A negative result simply means that the RIDT did not detect an influenza viral antigen and could be a false-negative.

    While The Cdc Is Withdrawing Its Eua Request For The 2019

    Posts circulating on Facebook and Instagram claim the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will stop using its COVID-19 test because it cannot differentiate between the COVID virus and flu viruses.

    CDC has just announced they will revoke the emergency use authorization of the RT-PCR tests first introduced in 2/20, reads a July 25 post, which goes on to quote from the agencys lab directive: CDC encourages laboratories to consider adoption of a multiplexed method that can facilitate detection and differentiation of SARS CoV-2 and influenza viruses. It continues: Translation: Theyve been adding flu cases to COVID cases when using that test.

    Mike Huckabee, a former Fox News host who was also a Republican presidential candidate and governor of Arkansas, that the CDC test cannot tell the difference between coronaviruses and flu viruses.

    A July 24 went further: The FDA announced today that the CDC PCR test has failed its full review. Emergency Use Authorization has been REVOKED.

    The posts were flagged as part of Facebooks efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its news feed.

    We wanted to know whether there was any truth to the idea that the CDC was removing its test because it is faulty and cannot tell one virus from another. So we consulted several laboratory testing experts.

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    Is There A Test That Can Detect Both Flu And Covid

    Yes. There is a test that will check for seasonal flu type A and B viruses and SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. This test is being used by U.S. public health laboratories for surveillance purposes. Testing for these viruses at the same time will give public health officials important information about how flu and COVID-19 are spreading and what prevention steps should be taken. The test will also help public health laboratories save time and testing materials, and to possibly return test results faster.

    The Food and Drug Administration has given CDC an Emergency Use Authorizationexternal icon for this new test. Initial test kits were sent to public health laboratories in early August 2020. CDC will continue to manufacture and distribute these kits.

    More information for laboratories is available.

    What Are The Covid Symptoms I Should Act On

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    The NHS says people should still look out for classic Covid symptoms:

    • a new, continuous cough
    • a fever/high temperature
    • loss of or change to smell or taste

    But for some people, having Covid can feel “more like a bad cold” with symptoms such as a headache, sore throat and a runny nose.

    The Zoe Covid study app asks hundreds of thousands of people to log their symptoms and investigators have looked at those linked to the dominant Delta variant and the new highly spreadable variant Omicron.

    So far, the top five symptoms are:

    • runny nose
    • fatigue
    • sneezing
    • sore throat

    If you think you may have Covid, it is important to get tested. Even people who don’t feel very ill can put others at risk.

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