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Influenza Tests

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Also known as: Flu Test; Rapid Flu Test; Influenza Antigen Test; H1N1; Rapid Influenza Diagnostic Test; RIDT; Flu PCR
Formal name: Influenza Rapid Antigen Test; Influenza Type A and B Antigen Detection; Influenza A and B Culture; Influenza Type A H1N1; PCR for Influenza Virus

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At a Glance

Why Get Tested?

To determine whether or not you have an influenza infection (flu), especially if you are hospitalized, have a weakened immune system, or are otherwise at an increased risk of serious complications from influenza; to help your healthcare practitioner make treatment decisions; to help determine whether or not the flu has spread to your community

When to Get Tested?

When it is flu season and a healthcare practitioner wants to determine whether your symptoms are due to seasonal influenza A or B or to another cause; within 3 to 4 days of the onset of signs and symptoms, such as fever, headache, muscle aches, sore throat, weakness, fatigue, cough, sore throat, stuffy nose and sometimes runny nose

Sample Required?

Depending on the test used, a respiratory sample collected on a swab from the nasopharynx or a nasal aspirate; sometimes, a nasal or throat swab

Test Preparation Needed?