Friday, September 29, 2023

Where To Go To Get Tested For Flu

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Should I Get A Flu Shot

When Should Someone Get Tested For Coronavirus? | NBC News NOW

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 6 months old and older get a flu shot each season. In particular, people who are at high risk of complications from the flu should receive the vaccine. These include young children, the elderly, residents of nursing home and other long-term care facilities, pregnant women, and people with pre-existing conditions such as asthma, COPD, heart disease, and liver or kidney disorders.

Is There A Test For The Flu

Yes, there are several flu tests available. Theyre usually administered by a healthcare provider. The most common and fastest type of flu test is called a rapid influenza diagnostic test , which detects antigens specific to the virus. Youll typically get results in about 10 to 15 minutes, but they arent as accurate as other flu tests.

The reason RIDTs are less accurate is because they test for flu virus antigen. Antigens are pieces of a germ left behind after our immune cells start to kill some of the germs. Antigen tests arent as sensitive to flu viruses as the other tests listed above. They have a higher chance of giving you a false negative result. That means that the test says you dont have the flu when you really do.

Other types of flu tests include:

A flu swab test is one of the most common methods of taking a sample for your flu test. Typically, a special swab that might look similar to a long cotton swab is used to take a sample from your nose or throat. This type of flu test can be a little uncomfortable for some people. But rest assured, its a temporary feeling thatll quickly go away after the sample is collected.

Flu tests are usually done by a healthcare provider, but there are some at-home options, too. More on that below.

How To Avoid Spreading The Flu

Flu is very infectious and easily spread to other people. You’re more likely to give it to others in the first 5 days.

Flu is spread by germs from coughs and sneezes, which can live on hands and surfaces for 24 hours.

To reduce the risk of spreading flu:

  • wash your hands often with warm water and soap
  • use tissues to trap germs when you cough or sneeze
  • bin used tissues as quickly as possible

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Testing For The Flu Can Help You Get Faster Treatment But Why Is It So Hard To Get A Rapid Antigen Test For Influenza

Flu cases are surging around Australia.

Two years of COVID restrictions have left the population with little natural immunity for influenza and we head into the winter months with both viruses circulating in the community.

And then there’s testing. You can get tested to see if you have the flu after contacting a doctor, but rapid antigen tests are another story.

Where To Get Rapid Flu Strep & Mono Tests

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When you or someone in your family has fallen ill, you want to start the healing process as soon as possible. Count on a FastMed clinic for rapid flu, strep, and mono tests. At our medical clinic, qualified healthcare professionals will treat you right away. You dont have to wait for an appointment with your primary care provider or face the expense of an emergency department visit. Get prompt and affordable testing and treatment 7 days a week, 365 days a year at FastMed.

* The content presented on this page is not intended to diagnose health problems or take the place of professional medical care.

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Questions For Your Doctor After At

If youve recently taken an at-home flu test, the following questions may be useful to discuss with your doctor:

  • How do you interpret my test result?
  • Do you think the at-home test that I took was accurate?
  • Should I have any follow-up testing?
  • Are any treatments or other measures appropriate given my symptoms and test result?

Rapid Influenza Diagnostic Tests

Rapid influenza diagnostic tests are antigen detection assays that can detect influenza viral antigens in 10-15 minutes with moderate sensitivity and high specificity. Some tests are CLIA-waived and approved for use in any outpatient setting, whereas others must be used in a moderately complex clinical laboratory. Some RIDTs utilize an analyzer reader device to standardize results to improve sensitivity . FDA now requires RIDTs to achieve 80% sensitivity. Detection of influenza virus antigen does not necessarily indicate detection of viable infectious virus or on-going influenza viral replication.

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What Happens During A Flu Test

There are a couple of different ways to get a sample for testing:

  • Swab test. Your health care provider will use a special swab to take a sample from your nose or throat.
  • Nasal Aspirate. Your health care provider will inject a saline solution into your nose, then remove the sample with gentle suction.

How To Know If You Have The Flu

Coronavirus | Checklist before testing for COVID-19

If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, it is first and foremost important to test for COVID-19. Especially as the new highly transmissible Omicron variant circulates, getting a COVID-19 diagnosis early will allow you to self-isolate and protect others from infection.

For a flu diagnosis, Schaffner recommends first reaching out to a primary care provider via a telehealth portal, email, or phone. Showing up to a doctors office or urgent care site puts others at risk of getting sick and it may be unnecessary unless youre experiencing a medical emergency.

Peter Chin-Hong, MD, professor of infectious diseases at University of California, San Francisco, recommends taking a flu test if you tested negative for COVID-19. While uncommon, its possible to be infected with both COVID-19 and flu at the same time.

I think a lot of people are stuck in limbo land with symptoms, Chin-Hong told Verywell. You keep doing a million BinaxNOW assays just because you want to convince yourself that you don’t have COVID.

Health providers can diagnose a case of the flu through a description of symptoms, a physical exam, or through a nasal or throat swab test.

There was an increase in the number of flu tests this year, driven in part by concern that this flu season would see a particularly high case rate, Chin-Hong said. In the last week of November, nearly 59,000 samples were tested for the flu, compared with 22,000 specimens during the same week in 2018.

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What To Do If You Think You Have The Flu Covid

Yes, its possible to test positive for the flu and COVID-19 at the same time, but experts say the chances of having a coinfection are very, very low. If you find yourself experiencing any of the symptoms discussed in this article, heres a game plan for how to quickly determine a diagnosis.

  • Talk to your doctor. If youre coming down with a telltale sign of COVID-19 or the flu, seek medical care. Experts say its a good idea to put on a mask and self-isolate from your family if you have symptoms, to play it safe.
  • Get tested. Experts agree that its important to be tested as quickly as possible for COVID-19 and flu. Heres some good news: The nose swab can be used to test for both COVID-19 and the flu. Schedule an appointment with your doctor or local health clinic, or visit an urgent care center where tests should be available.
  • Start treatment. After a diagnosis, move forward with the appropriate treatment. For the flu, the gold standard is an antiviral drug that your doctor might prescribe which helps to lessen the severity of symptoms and shorten duration of the illness. For milder cases of COVID-19, most people can recover at home by monitoring their symptoms, resting, and drinking fluids.

If you are having trouble breathing, persistent pain, chest pressure, new confusion, an inability to wake or stay awake, or bluish lips or face, seek emergency medical care immediately.

How To Test For The Flu

This article was medically reviewed by Luba Lee, FNP-BC, MS and by wikiHow staff writer, Danielle Blinka, MA, MPA. Luba Lee, FNP-BC is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner and educator in Tennessee with over a decade of clinical experience. Luba has certifications in Pediatric Advanced Life Support , Emergency Medicine, Advanced Cardiac Life Support , Team Building, and Critical Care Nursing. She received her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Tennessee in 2006. This article has been viewed 7,497 times.

No one wants to get the influenza virus, commonly referred to as the flu. If you suspect you might be coming down with the dreaded virus, diagnosing it early is your best chance for a swift recovery, as antiviral medications are most effective within the first 48 hours. Your doctor can determine if you have the flu based on your symptoms, flu activity in your area, and possibly a rapid influenza diagnostic test. This simple, painless, in-office test will help the doctor diagnose and treat your symptoms.

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How Do I Know If I Have Flu

Your respiratory illness might be influenza if you have fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and/or fatigue. Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children. People may be sick with flu and have respiratory symptoms without a fever. Flu viruses usually cause the most illness during the colder months of the year. However, flu can also occur outside of the typical flu season. In addition, other viruses can also cause respiratory illness similar to flu. So, it is impossible to tell for sure if you have flu based on symptoms alone. If your doctor needs to know for sure whether you are sick with flu, there are laboratory tests that can be done.

What You Need To Know About Dual Covid

Have unusual symptoms of COVID

Yes, it is possible to have both viruses at the same time.

Both diseases can spread from close contact with someone who is infected. The viruses travel through droplets from talking, sneezing, or coughing. Physical contact can also cause infection. Covering your mouth and nose , washing hands regularly, and keeping your distance from others is the best way to prevent the spread.

Both conditions can spread before the symptoms appear. If you have been in contact with someone who might have the flu or COVID-19, it is important to know that flu symptoms take about 4 days to appear and COVID-19 symptoms take between 2 to 14 days to appear.

COVID-19 is considered more contagious by the CDC however both are highly contagious viruses. Covering your mouth and nose , washing hands regularly, and keeping your distance from others is the best way to prevent the spread. Additionally, the flu remains contagious up to 7 days after symptoms appear, while COVID-19 for up to 10 days.

Older adults, pregnant women, and people with underlying medical conditions are at risk of severe difficulties from both COVID-19 and the flu. Children and infants are at a higher risk for flu complications than COVID-19. However, children infected with COVID-19 are more vulnerable to rare complications like Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome. Vaccines are available for both COVID-19 and the flu.

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Can I Get My Flu Vaccine With My Covid Booster

Health authorities around the country have urged people to get vaccinated against the flu.

Queensland Acting Chief Health Officer Peter Aitken is the latest to remind us that you can get vaccinated against the flu and COVID on the same day.

“Most people have two shoulders and you can get a flu vaccine and a COVID vaccine at the same time,”Dr Aitken said yesterday.

How Long Does It Take To Get The Results From An Influenza Test

If you have a heart or lung condition that makes it dangerous to have illnesses such as influenza, then getting a test for the disease as quickly as possible can reduce your chances of having a complication. To learn if you have influenza, you can visit an urgent care center where a physician can perform rapid influenza diagnostic tests. These tests are completed in approximately 15 minutes by finding the antigens that are creating an immune response in your body. A physician will collect the mucus from your nose to test it for signs of the antigens. There are also viral culture tests for influenza that can take as long as 10 days for a result, but these arent as useful for a beginning effective treatment for the illness.

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What Precautions Can I Take Against The Flu

Along with getting vaccinated against the flu, the precautions are very similar to the precautions we use against COVID.

“I think the safest way to go if you’re feeling crook is to stay away from other people while we are actively sick,” says University of Queensland virologist Ian Mackay.

“That’s kind of what our body is telling us when we’ve got those symptoms, it’s saying ‘you know what, rest up now.'”

Wearing a mask, social distancing, getting vaccinated and keeping away from workplaces while unwell will stop you spreading it on to others.

“It’s really important you don’t go spreading it to others, by transmitting it around the network because we lose people from work and sometimes people don’t have sick leave and that’s a big deal,” Dr Mackay says.

Is There Anything Else I Should Know

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Treated or untreated, most influenza infections will go away within one or two weeks, although fatigue and a cough may last a while longer. A few people, however, may develop serious secondary complications. These complications often arise just as influenza symptoms are fading.

Anyone is susceptible to complications from the flu, but the very young, the elderly, and people who are immunocompromised or who have pre-existing lung disease are most affected. Complications such as pneumonia, sepsis, and encephalitis can be very serious and may require immediate medical treatment.

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How Is The Sample Collected For Testing

Sample collection technique is critical in influenza testing, and different kinds of influenza tests rely on different collection techniques. The best sample is usually a nasal aspirate, but a swab from the nasopharynx or nasal secretions may also be used. In some circumstances, a healthcare practitioner may use a throat swab, but this contains less of the virus than a nasopharyngeal aspirate and so may not be appropriate for use in rapid testing where sensitivity is a concern.

For an aspirate, the person collecting the sample will use a syringe to push a small amount of sterile saline into the nose, then apply gentle suction to collect the resulting fluid . To preserve the organisms in the sample, the sample is put into a special container, referred to as “viral transport media” or VTM, for delivery to the laboratory.

The nasopharyngeal swab is collected by having the person tip his or her head back, then a Dacron swab is gently inserted into one of the nostrils until resistance is met , then rotated several times and withdrawn. This may tickle a bit and cause the eyes to tear.

More Reasons To Go To The Doctor For Flu

Dehydration also needs medical attention. Signs that youre getting dehydrated include urinating less frequently than normal, feeling thirsty, and having trouble keeping fluids down, Bergen says. If you cant replenish fluids by drinking more, you may need to be given fluids intravenously.

Also go to the doctor or the ER for the flu if you seemed to be getting better, but find that your symptoms are returning. If your fever and cough roar back worse than before, you need to seek medical attention, Bergen says.

People who have asthma, diabetes, HIV, AIDS, cancer, or another chronic condition, those over 65, and women who are pregnant should seek treatment sooner than an otherwise healthy person, Dr. Kino says. If you have a weakened immune system, you have to be more concerned than the average person, he explains.

Your doctor may even be able to treat you over the phone, Bergen says. If the flu has been reported in your area and your doctor believes thats what you have, he or she may prescribe antiviral flu drugs. If taken early on, these drugs may shorten its course.

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How Do I Know If I Need To Get A Flu Test

If you experience any of the following flu symptoms, it might be a good idea to get a flu test:

  • Fever or feeling like you have a fever

  • Chills

  • A runny or stuffy nose

  • Muscle pain

  • Feeling tired

  • Vomiting or diarrhea more common in kids than adults

Its important to know that everyones flu symptoms are different. You may have some or all of these. But typically, flu symptoms come on quickly .

Early Treatment For Influenza Can Reduce The Number Of Days That You Are Sick

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A physician can prescribe anti-viral medications for influenza, and studies reveal that early treatment with these drugs can shorten the amount of time that you are sick by one to two days. You should begin treatment with these types of medications during the first two days of your illness, and by taking these drugs as soon as possible, you can prevent some of the dangerous complications that can lead to hospitalization.

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How To Get The Flu Vaccine

The flu vaccine is a safe and effective vaccine. It’s offered every year on the NHS to help protect people at risk of flu and its complications.

The best time to have the flu vaccine is in the autumn before flu starts spreading. But you can get the vaccine later.

The flu vaccine is given to people who:

  • are 50 and over
  • have certain health conditions
  • are pregnant
  • are in a long-stay residential care
  • receive a carer’s allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick
  • live with someone who is more likely to get infections
  • frontline health or social care workers

You can have the NHS flu vaccine at:

  • your GP surgery

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