Flu Tests – Accuracy and Necessity

Kids today go everywhere, do everything, and catch a lot of colds. But sometimes, it's more than a cold. With the abundance of antibiotics and vaccines available, the human body becomes immune to many diseases, but viruses are not one of them. The common colds and viruses can often be mere nuisances, but sometimes they become something more. The recent outbreak of swine flu caused a scare, and people became aware that flu is not always something to be taken lightly. It is there necessary to have reliable testing that will detect the flu at an early stage.

Along with the common cold, influenza is one of the most common acute respiratory infections, producing symptoms such as headache, chills, dry cough, body aches and fever. It affects 10% – 20% of the United States population annually, resulting in more than 110,000 hospitals and 10,000 to 40,000 deaths. The Influenza A virus is typically more prevalent and is associated with the most serious influenza epidemics, while influenza B infections typically present more mild symptoms. Diagnosis is difficult because the initial symptoms can be similar to those caused by other infectious agents. Considering that the influenza virus is highly contagious, accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment of patients can have a positive effect on public health. Accurate diagnosis and the ability to distinguish between A or B antigens can also help reduce the utilization of antibiotic and gives the physician the opportunity to prescribe an appropriate antiviral therapy. Initiation of antiviral therapy within 48 hours of symptom infection is recommended for more rapid reduction of symptoms and to reduce viral shedding. The Genzyme flu test can provide rapid detection of influenza A and / or B viral antigens from symptomatic patients, and is frequently used by doctors.

The OSOM Influenza A and B test kit is a rapid, yet accurate flu test. The test takes only about a minute to set up, so patients are not kept waiting. Results are available within ten minutes, and they have an excellent rate of accuracy. Specimens are grouped with a nasal swab, and clear instructions provide a guide on how to conduct the test. The immunochromatographic assay features easy-to-read results with three distinct lines that differiate between Influenza A and B flu strains. Two extra test sticks are included for external quality control testing.

Although necessary, flu tests are sometimes left out of medical budgeting due to cost cutting. DealMed.com offers the OSOM Influenza A and B test kit, and a wide variety of medical supplies at affordable prices. They staff medically trained personnel to help with purchases, and provide express shipping if necessary. Go to DealMed.com to find out more.