Easy Test Diagnoses Flu

Easy Test Diagnoses Flu

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Lab techs at Lewis County General Hospital are testing for the flu using something everybody has – mucous from their nose.

It's just a nose swab and once it is taken, it's sent to the lab where the techs load it into something called a bio cabinet.

The sample is placed into a film array which then – after an hour – prints off a report saying whether it's one of 20 different viruses.”

According to a nurse practitioner at the hospital, the flu test has a quick turnaround time.

“Sometimes it takes a couple hours to get the test back, but we aim to get them the results the same day as the test,” said Corrie Schell.

If you think you might have the flu, you should go to the doctor right away because certain meds only work within a couple of days.

“You have a 48 hour window from when your symptoms start to be treated with Tamiflu, which is a prescription, which is a prescription anti-viral that helps with the flu symptoms. It does not cure the flu but it does help with the symptoms,” said Schell.

The test looks for different strains of Flu A and Flu B. It also tests for RSV and the common cold.

As a bonus, the results of the flu tests are then used to develop flu vaccines for the following year.

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