This year’s flu season has been particularly nasty — so bad, in fact, that it’s the worst in nearly a decade. You’ve probably heard the horror stories from friends or co-workers who had the flu already, and you might be wondering, is there a test for the flu? Because you definitely want to catch it as soon as possible so you can ensure a speedy recovery.
The good news is that there are a few options for flu tests, according to the CDC. If you start showing flu-like symptoms, (fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, chills and fatigue), you should call your doctor. A doctor will be able to administer a “rapid influenza diagnostic test” aka RIDT. As you may have guessed by the “rapid,” this test gets you results within 10-15 minutes. Although, as the CDC states, this test can sometimes give a false negative.
For a more accurate test, see if your doctor will provide a “rapid molecular assay.” This test also gives quick results, as you will only have to wait 15-20 minutes. The test provides quick results and is more accurate than RIDTs. Any test you receive at a doctor’s office will require you taking a swab test, where the physician swipes the inside of your nose or the back of your throat and then sends the swab out for testing.
Now you know that you have plenty of options for getting tested for influenza.
Which is really good, because you can get antiviral drugs that will treat the flu if your test results come back positive. Nobody wants to stay sick for longer than they have to, so take advantage of the many flu tests available if you show symptoms.
You can also take preventative measures now to avoid the whole ordeal.
The best way to avoid the flu is to get a flu shot every year, and make sure to keep up with regular health practices as well.
We repeat: Make sure to do everything you can to avoid getting sick this flu season.
Because you can’t spell “flu” without “F-U.” And that’s what it will feel like your body is saying to you.
Stay healthy out there!