The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced the release of flu test kits that can identify various types of the flu virus. The kits rely on a variety of specimen samples to help determine if you have the swine flu (H1N1), traditional flu type A and B viruses, or the fatal avian flu virus (H5N1).
It is difficult to self-diagnose whether you have the flu on symptoms alone. The flu is commonly misdiagnosed because its symptoms are similar to other illnesses such as the common cold, stomach virus and even pregnancy. Flu test kits help take the guessing out of the diagnosis.
The sooner you are correctly diagnosed, the sooner you can begin proper treatment. For example, you could take a decongestant for nasal congestion, an aspirin for body aches and other medications to help you get back on your feet.
Using Flu Test Kits
Most tests work well with a variety of specimen samples including throat and nasal swabs. Samples should be collected as soon as symptoms begin, and no later than 4 or five days following the start of complications. Flu test kits typically can return results in as little as 15 minutes.