Julie Fine, NBC 5 News
A new study in the Journal of the Pediatrics Infectious Disease Society recommends that you have flu-like symptoms, you should consult your doctor about rapid flu testing.
New research suggests rapid flu tests can lead to better care.
The study was recently published in the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society.
The test, which is a swab in the nose, can give doctors an answer in minutes, meaning patients don't get a drug they don't need or unnecessary testing.
"The only way to tell if it is the flu, often, is the rapid flu test," family practice Dr. Richard Honaker said. "Then you get the answer right there, and you get the right drug."
He said he agrees that the tests can help treatment.
"A flu is a virus," he said. "It needs a particular type of drug to kill the virus, and not an antibiotic, which is for bacteria."
Honaker said the test has been around for a few years, but now is more widespread and easier to use.
The test has a small false negative rate, but many of those patients would appear symptomatic and would likely be treated anyway, he said.