Quick Flu Diagnostic Tests Increases Helpful Antiviral Use

Rapid Flu Diagnostic Testing & Symptoms
Rapid Flu Diagnostic Testing & Symptoms

Heading into the holidays generally means an increase in flu diagnosis.  As such, we thought you might like to know about an article we saw on Helio.

According to this article:

Rapid influenza diagnostic tests (RIDT) both decreased antibiotic prescriptions and increased antiviral use, according to study results published in the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society.

“When results of influenza tests are available to physicians at the ‘point of care,’ they use this information to provide more appropriate patient management,” Anne J. Blaschke, MD, PhD, of the University of Utah School of Medicine, said in a press release. “While other studies have shown that physicians can accurately diagnose influenza without testing, our results suggest that using an influenza test increases diagnostic certainty and leads to the physician providing more specific and appropriate care.”

Researchers also found that additional laboratory tests were ordered less frequently when a patient was diagnosed with rapid testing.

Twenty-three percent of patients diagnosed without rapid testing were given a prescription for antibiotics, which are not effective in treating influenza. However, only 11% of patients who were diagnosed with rapid testing received antibiotic prescriptions. Fifty-six percent of patients diagnosed with influenza by rapid testing received antivirals compared with 19% who did not receive rapid testing.

These articles also tend to lead to folks questioning whether their symptoms are a cold or the flu.

Unlike symptoms of a common cold, flu symptoms usually come on suddenly. 

  • fever (usually high)
  • severe aches and pains in the joints and muscles and around the …

People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:

  • Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat …

Flu symptoms include:

  • A 100oF or higher fever or feeling feverish (not everyone with the flu has a fever)
  • A cough and/or sore throat …
Many doctors still encourage annual flu vaccinations.
Please share your experiences in the comments section below, or on our facebook page.
Of course, if you need assistance finding health insurance coverage that includes Rapid Influenza Diagnostic Testing and/or vaccination, please complete the form below and one of our experts will be in touch with you right away!

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