7 doctors weighed in:

How fast and reliable is the rapid flu test?

7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mark Patterson
Pediatrics
4 doctors agree

In brief: 15 minutes

I'm sure it depends somewhat on the brand of the test, but the one we use in our office uses a nasal swab specimen, takes 15 minutes to run, and has a specificity of 95%.
Because it is important to treat patients with the flu within 48 hours of onset of symptoms, having a rapid test is very helpful. Better yet, however, is to get a flu vaccine and reduce the risk of getting sick!

In brief: 15 minutes

I'm sure it depends somewhat on the brand of the test, but the one we use in our office uses a nasal swab specimen, takes 15 minutes to run, and has a specificity of 95%.
Because it is important to treat patients with the flu within 48 hours of onset of symptoms, having a rapid test is very helpful. Better yet, however, is to get a flu vaccine and reduce the risk of getting sick!
Dr. Mark Patterson
Dr. Mark Patterson
Thank
Dr. John Leander Po
Internal Medicine - Infectious Disease
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Clinical judgement

Depending on a number of factors, in an area where lots of people are catching the flu, the sensitivity rapid flu testing can drop below 50%.
Therefore, it important that a skilled clinician using their clinical judgement if a pt has obvious symptoms of the flu and the test result is negative- it may likely be a false negative.

In brief: Clinical judgement

Depending on a number of factors, in an area where lots of people are catching the flu, the sensitivity rapid flu testing can drop below 50%.
Therefore, it important that a skilled clinician using their clinical judgement if a pt has obvious symptoms of the flu and the test result is negative- it may likely be a false negative.
Dr. John Leander Po
Dr. John Leander Po
Thank
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