Your Questions Answered About Walk-in Flu Tests, Examinations & Treatment
A flu test is sometimes used to confirm an influenza diagnosis. In many cases, however, a doctor at PhysicianOne Urgent Care in Groton, Connecticut, can diagnose the flu based on symptoms alone, especially during peak flu season. A flu test, which involves a throat or nasal culture, may be unnecessary.
With that said, many bacterial infections can produce flu-like symptoms, such as fatigue, fever, chills, body aches, coughing, and nasal congestion. If there is any uncertainty with regard to the source of your discomfort, we may suggest a flu test to verify that the root cause is the influenza virus rather than a bacterial infection.
When flu symptoms appear, an accurate diagnosis is key because antibiotics, which are often prescribed for treating bacterial infections, are ineffective for viral infections like the flu. A flu test can help you get the appropriate treatment for your condition and avoid unnecessary antibiotic treatment, which is important because overprescribed antibiotics can lead to the development of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria.
Why Isn’t a Flu Test Performed in Every Case?
After a thorough clinical assessment, your physician may feel reasonably certain that your symptoms are caused by the influenza A or B virus, in which case there may be no need to order a flu test. Instead, you can immediately begin taking antiviral medication to reduce the severity and duration of your illness. Prompt treatment is important because these drugs are most effective when administered within 48 after the onset of flu symptoms.
At PhysicianOne Urgent Care, we recommend flu testing on a case-by-case basis when we believe it is likely to yield clinically useful results that will help with diagnostic and treatment decisions. If you’re feeling under the weather, you can stop by our walk-in urgent care center in Groton at your convenience. We will evaluate your symptoms and recommend appropriate diagnostics, which may include a flu test or other urgent care lab services, followed by treatment to help you feel better fast.