Honored Contributor
Posts: 27,740
Registered: ‎05-22-2016


Thank you for that info about flu/covid testing. I'm a bit behind in my knowledge about testing. I also worked in a micro and viro hospital lab and it's been years since I worked there. Technology changes for the good.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 13,245
Registered: ‎09-08-2010

I don't feel Tamiflu did anything for me but made me feel worse.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 12,479
Registered: ‎11-01-2010



I had the flu once, last year. I went to the doctor because of a scary-high temperature and was diagnosed. No test was done. 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 14,134
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

@willdob3 I had that same experience last time I had flu.  And I've never heard anyone talk about a test for flu except some when they exhibited a flu symptom.  That's why I was surprised this morning when the doctors got so many questions about flu tests.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,970
Registered: ‎03-16-2010

@millieshops, the most frequent time they would test for influenza is when the patient has presented with signs and symptoms of an influenza type illness and need to be admitted to the hospital.  That is usually the way that community transmission of influenza is occurring.  Hospitals identify the presence of influenza. 


For patients that don't require hospitalization they may or may not test. It isn't required or necessary unless local activity has reached a certain level in which they want to know more specific information about the incidence and type of flu that is circulating in that community. 


When community transmission is appearing to reach certain levels as reported to the local health department  they do start to test more frequently in the outpatient arena.  They use that information in order to evaluate hospital capacity in the area, availability of critical care beds, anticipate the need for medical supplies, etc. in case it is necessarily due to incidence and prevalence of influenza in that area.


Still, outpatient cases are reported as influenza like illness (ILI) and is also tracked by the CDC.  Regardless whether someone is tested or not they conduct surveillance for influenza like illness.  Those are the maps that most people are familiar with seeing.  


The medical community has been dealing with influenza for more than 100 years so surveillance and testing strategies have been planned and evaluated for years. As viruses change, they may change the planning and response depending on the data. That is why there is no routine massive testing for influenza.  Docs and NPs know the screening and have algorithms to assist with diagnosis and treatment strategies. Not to mention that patients can be treated with anti-virals for influenza & there are yearly vaccines.


* Freedom has a taste the protected will never know *
Super Contributor
Posts: 290
Registered: ‎03-17-2010

I've had the flu test at least twice.  They do give it.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 8,006
Registered: ‎03-21-2010

Re: Tests for flu?

[ Edited ]

In January of 2020, my husband got very sick.  He assumed it was the flu.  He was sick for about 4 days. Feeling a little better each successive day.  So he never went to the doctor.  He had chills besides the usual symptoms.  He recovered, but had lost at least something like 10  lbs,  To this day, he is convinced he got COVID19.  It was in the U.S. at that time, but most were not aware of it. Later we heard the first case of COVID19 was on January 22, 2020. He got sick just about that time.  Of course, we were not aware of it.  I just think he got the flu.  He had a flu shot, but you can still get another kind of flu.  That's what I think he got.  But he's still convinced it was COVID.  But he hadn't traveled anywhere.  I never got sick from him.  So it couldn't possibly have been COVID19.   Weeks later he had to get his driver's licence renewed.  They took his picture.  He was shocked how thin his face looked.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 14,134
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

@pitdakota That's pretty much what I've always known about the flu and it's also in line with everything the doctors answered about testing for it compared to testing for Covid.  One of the doctors estimated that when the medical/scientific research about this round of Covid is finally complete, the Covid death rate COULD well be 10X that of the flu.  They already know how it's spread presents far more danger.


It's hard to beleive we're not even a whole year into this pandemic, but I'm amazed with the pregress the medical community has made in treating victims.  They give me hope I'll live long enough to add pieces to my new normal.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 33,496
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Tests for flu?

[ Edited ]

I don't think they do massive flu testing, maybe because it's not as catchy and can you be asymptomatic with the flu? 


I have never been flu tested because I've never had symptoms that would cause me to go to the doctor.  However, I have relatives and co-workers who have been ill with flu-like symptoms and therefore were tested. 


Back when we first started to hear about Covid, my co-workers child got very ill and was taken to the doctor.  They tested her for Covid first and when that came back negative, they tested her for the flu and it came back positive for type A. 

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,513
Registered: ‎08-19-2018

I work at the 2nd largest hospital, in Washington State, bed wise, I'm an RD. 

I always get the flu shot.  Last year, I started feeling punky, at work, my temp spiked up to 103. I was tested for the flu, sure enough 🦠! 

I was started on Tamiflu, and, I'm guessing, between that and having had my shot, it was a mild case.  Luckily, I wasn't there long, was working alone, and didn't start an outbreak👿


One thing about Tamiflu; it can cause GI upset, in some people.  My Dr. suggested taking it, with, at least a little something to eat.  I did, no problems..