Why get a Flu test?

Rapid flu tests can tell you in about ten minutes if you have the flu; why don’t doctors use these all the time, instead of wasting your time with more questions or examining you?

POSITIVE flu tests are GREAT, and yes, they speed up our assessment. We STILL need to examine you to see, for example, if your cough is aggravated with wheezing in an asthma-like response (because that involves an additional, different treatment) or if it sounds like you have developed a pneumonia (either directly from the influenza virus or as a secondary bacterial infection)-again, different treatment.

A … Read more

How Accurate are Flu Tests?

In primary care offices, we do many types of rapid testing to help us diagnose and treat patients– pregnancy tests, urine tests for infection, rapid strep tests, and of course, rapid flu tests. How accurate are these tests? If a rapid flu test is POSITIVE, it is extremely accurate- 98%. This means they are very SPECIFIC tests- if it says you have it, you have a 98% chance that you really do have the flu, so the likelihood of a false positive is very low. If your rapid flu test result is NEGATIVE, however, you might still have … Read more