Guidelines from the IDSA recommend the following:
During influenza activity, clinicians should test for influenza in high-risk patients with symptoms that resemble influenza, pneumonia, or nonspecific respiratory illness if the testing result will influence clinical management.
Clinicians should also test for influenza in patients who present with acute onset of respiratory symptoms with or without fever and either exacerbation of chronic medical conditions or known complications of influenza (eg, pneumonia) if the result will influence clinical management.
Nasopharyngeal specimens should be collected over other upper respiratory tract specimens to increase detections of influenza viruses. If nasopharyngeal specimens are not available, nasal and throat swab specimens should be collected and combined together for testing over single specimens from either site. Mid-turbinate nasal swab specimens should be collected over throat swab specimens.
Clinicians should not collect or routinely test for influenza specimens from nonrespiratory sites, such as blood, plasma, serum, cerebrospinal fluid, urine, and stool.
Clinicians should use rapid molecular assays (ie, nucleic acid amplification tests) over rapid influenza diagnostic tests in outpatients to improve detection of influenza virus infection.
Clinicians should use reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction or other molecular assays over other influenza tests in hospitalized patients to improve detection of influenza virus infection.
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Cite this: Michael Stuart Bronze. Fast Five Quiz: Flu Season - Medscape - Oct 02, 2020.