Person to Person
The main way that influenza viruses are thought to spread is from person to
person in respiratory droplets of coughs and sneezes. (This is called "droplet
spread.") This can happen when droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected
person are propelled through the air and deposited on the mouth or nose of
people nearby. Influenza viruses may also be spread when a person touches
respiratory droplets on another person or an object and then touches their own
mouth or nose (or...
The results may affect treatment decisions.
During a confirmed flu outbreak, however, testing may not be needed even if
treatment with an antiviral medicine is being considered.
addition to flu-like symptoms, you have any unusual symptoms that suggest
Health authorities have not identified any other
cases of flu in your area.
Testing may involve blood tests (rarely used) or a
culture to identify the virus. Some cultures take 24
to 48 hours for results, so they will not help your doctor decide whether to
prescribe an antiviral medicine. A rapid flu test is now available that gives
results in 30 minutes. Although this test is not 100% accurate, it can be
useful when deciding whether to use an antiviral medicine.