Influenza, or most commonly known as the flu, is a type of airborne virus that causes infection in the respiratory pathways. Being able to spread through sneezing and coughing, it infects millions worldwide every year. Usually, symptoms like fever, muscle ache, temperature accompany the disease and people recover within a week, but in some severe cases, it can lead to more complicated illness and death.
The best way to test yourself for the flu is to book a visit to a clinic and have a doctor check you. There they will perform a physical examination and run a flu test. The flu test is used in determining the type of flu that the patient is infected with which helps the physicians with prescribing the most effective treatment.
There are various flu tests, but the most commonly used are rapid flu tests. For it, the doctor will take a sample from the back of the patient’s throat with a cotton swab, seal it and send it to a lab or run the test himself. The results are usually ready in 15 minutes to an hour. The tests vary in quality depending on the manufacturers and the staff performing them but despite that, all tests have high reliability.
Early diagnosis is vital when the flu is concerned. If it is diagnosed within 48 hours after the first symptoms show up and proper antibiotics are prescribed, the length of the disease can be shortened by a few days. If the diagnosis is performed later than 48 hours and the administering of antibiotics is delayed, there is a risk of complications. This important for the following groups of people that have a higher risk of accompanying complications:
- People that are under the age of 5 and over the age of 65
- Pregnant women
- People with a weakened immune system
- Hospitalized people