What to Expect During a Flu Test

flu testFlu season remains in full effect, with thousands of people suffering across the country. Tragically, this report in USA Today, states that, according to the Centers for Disease Control 15 children had died from influenza as of December 31. This illness can obviously be extremely serious, so you should have a flu test if you are showing symptoms.

How it Works

When you come in, a physician will evaluate you based on the symptoms you report and then decide whether or not a flu test is necessary. If your symptoms warrant a test is needed, it can be completed in as little as five minutes – with results available almost immediately. It typically consists of the doctor swabbing one of your nostrils – and that’s basically it.

Once the doctor determines a patient has influenza, medications will be prescribed for symptom control, such as coughing and body aches. In addition, he or she may prescribe an anti-viral medication such as Tamiflu, which is designed specifically for the flu. If Tamiflu is started early enough, it could reduce the time a patient experiences symptoms by as much as two days.

When to See the Doctor

Dr. Adam Lukasik of Complete Care’s El Paso facility said that if you have a high fever, nausea, cough and body aches, you should seriously consider seeing a doctor to have a flu test performed. Unlike a regular cold, he said, the flu can turn into something much more serious, such as sinusitis or even pneumonia.

“The message is that if you’re not sure, come in and be tested,” Dr. Lukasik said. “That will help us determine the correct treatment.”

Other signs you should contact your doctor immediately include a fever lasting longer than three days, continual vomiting or symptoms that worsen each day. It is even more important to call a doctor if you have a chronic medical issue such as COPD, diabetes, heart disease or HIV/AIDS. People with these and many other conditions are much more at risk for serious influenza complications.

If you would like to schedule a flu test, contact one of Complete Care’s several locations throughout Texas.