The arrival of the seasonal flu, Thanksgiving, and pumpkin spice are all strong signs that the colder months of the year have begun. The influenza virus is the infectious organism that causes the flu. While some flu seasons are more severe than others, the flu can still result in up to 41 million infections in Americans yearly.

You may be unsure if you have the flu if you have a cough, sore throat, or fever.If you want to be certain, the only way to do so is to see a healthcare professional.They will check you, ask about your symptoms, and perhaps even do a flu virus test. In a few minutes, you’ll find out if you have the flu or not. 

Is there a test for the flu?

Yes, there are several different flu tests available. A medical expert frequently administers them. The most common and effective type of flu test is called a rapid influenza diagnostic test, or RIDT, and it searches for antigens particular to the virus. Although the results are less accurate than those from other flu tests, they are often ready in 10 to 15 minutes.

Get to your nearest Flu testing facility to get yourself tested.

The RIDTs are less accurate since they look for flu viral antigens. Antigens are leftover pieces of a germ that our immune cells have sometimes eliminated. Compared to the other tests mentioned above, antigen testing is substantially less sensitive to flu viruses and is more likely to produce a false negative result.

  • Rapid molecular tests: These provide results in between 15 and 30 minutes and are more accurate than RIDTs. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction tests are often known as RT-PCR assays. In contrast to RIDTs and fast molecular assays, these tests are normally only carried out in hospitals or specialist laboratories, but they are more accurate. It takes 45 minutes to several hours to get results.
  • Immunofluorescence: Using a specialised microscope, this test looks for flu viruses. This test is unavailable at every clinic, and it takes between two and four hours to get the results.
  • Infected cultures: This type of flu test has the longest turnaround time, taking 1 to 3 days. Transporting the test sample to a lab is necessary to grow and correctly assess it.

One of the most popular ways to collect a sample for your flu test is by using a flu swab. It is frequently necessary to take a sample from your nose or throat using a specific swab, which may resemble a long cotton swab. This particular flu test may be a little unsettling for some folks. But don’t panic; it will pass as soon as the sample is obtained because it is merely a momentary sensation.

Even though there are many DIY remedies, doctors frequently perform flu tests.

How can I tell if I need to get tested for the flu?

If you experience any of the flu symptoms listed below, it may be a good idea to get tested for the virus:

  • Fever or the feeling that you have a fever
  • Chills
  • a stuffy or runny nose, 
  • a sore throat,
  •  muscle ache
  • body aches
  • Headache

It’s very important to realize that everyone feels the flu differently, and any or all of these symptoms could be you. Children more frequently experience diarrhea and vomiting than adults. However, flu symptoms typically come on quickly (compared to cold symptoms, which may worsen gradually over a few days).

The outcome

You might not know if you have the flu or another respiratory infection if you have a sore throat, fever, or cough. The best is to consult a healthcare expert to find out what is causing your disease. They might decide to conduct a flu test while you’re there for your consultation. Today, several flu tests include a COVID-19 test. There are numerous tests, but many can yield results on the same day—possibly in as little as an hour. No of the results of your tests, it’s best to stay inside until you feel better to prevent spreading viruses and bacteria to others.

*Ensure that you call your insurance provider and make sure they are covering all these tests before your get your tests done*