It’s the time of year when mysterious symptoms start to appear: cough, stuffy nose, sore throat. Is it just the common cold? Or could it be the flu? Now, there’s no need to wonder. With a Quest Diagnostics test, you can easily tell whether or not you’re infected with the flu virus. You don’t even need to give a blood sample. The test is done with a swab from your nostril*, and the results come back quickly.
Asking your doctor for a flu test at the first sign of symptoms means you can be diagnosed sooner and get treatment that might lessen the duration and severity of your flu. If the results show you have the flu, you likely won’t be prescribed antibiotics.
Why should you get a flu test?
It can be hard to tell the difference between a cold, the flu, and other respiratory infections based only on your symptoms. Viral infections that affect the respiratory system often have similar symptoms. But each infection needs to be treated differently, which is why pinpointing the flu with an accurate test is so important. Without a proper diagnosis, you may take a medication that isn’t made to treat the infection you have.
Why get treatment for the flu?
This year, doctors are treating more flu-like symptoms than flu symptoms. The flu can be serious, and even deadly, if left untreated. The flu virus is more likely to cause complications like pneumonia or a separate bacterial infection.
Proper treatment protects you and others around you. Already this year, nearly 7 million people have contracted the flu virus.1 As many as 84,000 of those cases have led to hospitalization. Last year’s flu season was particularly serious, with 79,400 deaths reported.1 The risk of complications is especially high for certain groups, including
- Pregnant women
- People over age 65
- Those with chronic medical conditions
Even if you aren’t at high risk, if you live with or frequently come in contact with anyone in high-risk groups, there’s a chance of passing the virus to them. People in these groups are not able to effectively fight the virus. This makes them more susceptible to complications like pneumonia or inflammation of the heart or brain, which can be fatal. If a loved one in one of these groups starts to experience flu symptoms, it is even more important for them to go to a doctor.
How to get the right flu treatment
The first step in getting the right treatment is getting the right diagnosis. At the first sign of symptoms, see a doctor to determine what exactly is causing you to feel sick. Don’t be one of the millions of Americans who don’t seek medical attention when flu symptoms start.1
Using Quest’s nasal swab flu test, your doctor can quickly determine the source of the symptoms. The results are analyzed quickly. From there, you and your doctor can develop a personalized treatment plan based on your risk factors and the severity of your symptoms.
More than half of US doctors and hospitals trust Quest testing to provide accurate and timely answers. Getting clear answers right away means you can start the road to recovery sooner and feel better faster. Ask your doctor about a simple flu test this year and get back to feeling like yourself.
*Your doctor will use a technique called a nasopharyngeal swab or nasopharyngeal aspirate to collect a sample from the back of your nose and throat.
1 CDC. Estimated influenza illnesses, medical visits, hospitalizations, and deaths in the United States—2017-2018 influenza season. www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/2017-2018.htm Last updated December 18, 2018. Accessed January 30, 2019.