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With the flu season right around the corner, experiencing flu-like symptoms can make you worry if you’ve caught wind of the virus. The flu is a contagious disease with signs similar to common colds and seasonal allergies.1,2
Flu testing helps determine if the flu or influenza causes your symptoms. Influenza testing methods like rapid flu tests and molecular assays help detect the influenza virus.
They use a sample of your nasal swab to check for specific molecules like proteins or genes that may indicate the presence of the influenza virus.
At-home flu test kits are an easy and accessible way to test for influenza virus infection. Some can even detect other respiratory viruses, like respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and COVID-19.
KnowYourDNA is committed to making healthcare more accessible to the public. This commitment motivates us to feature products that meet industry standards.
We only choose at-home kits with reliable testing methods and science-backed reports to improve your health.
Our in-house medical experts help ensure the accuracy of the information we give to our readers by reviewing them before publication.
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LetsGetChecked is authorized by the FDA to collect samples for flu testing. Their designated lab for analysis is qualified to conduct high-complexity tests.3
You can buy the LetsGetChecked Coronavirus (COVID-19) Test online. You can get a swab sample inside your nose using the home collection kit.
Their tests have a high analytic sensitivity level, increasing their accuracy. Their kit has a return shipping label for sending samples back to their lab.
You can get the results in 2 to 3 days after they receive your sample. Medical professionals can help you understand the findings.
LetsGetChecked provides extensive virtual support to help you with the process.
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The Labcorp COVID-19 + Flu PCR Test is a flu combination test that detects influenza virus strains, RSV, and COVID-19. You can purchase it online or from retail stores.
This self-collection test kit needs your nasal swab sample. After mailing back your specimen, you can get the results in 1 to 2 days.
Flu, RSV, and COVID-19 have closely similar symptoms. This test can check for the presence of different viruses.
The iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test can show your results in 15 minutes, which can be helpful when traveling. But like other antigen rapid tests, it can give false-negative results.
You can buy the directly from their website. It needs a nasal swab for testing. Each box has two testing devices you can use a few days apart.
You may retake the test if you get a negative result despite having symptoms.
|Best At-home Flu Tests||LetsGetChecked Coronavirus Test (COVID-19)||COVID-19 + Flu + RSV PCR Test||iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test|
|Sample collection method||Lower nasal swab||Nasal swab||Nasal swab|
|Testing method||RT-PCR/TMA Molecular test||Combination RT-PCR Molecular Test||Lateral Flow Immunoassay Technology|
|When are the test results ready||Within two to three days||Within one to two days||Within 15 minutes|
Choosing a suitable at-home test kit can be challenging. Many brands are widely available, but we narrowed our list to the three best at-home flu testing.
We picked our top choices based on these criteria:
We went through several research studies and reviews to come up with the best choices.
A self-collection kit can show if your sample is positive or negative. Inconclusive results may also occur in some cases.
If you purchased a combined testing kit that checks for influenza and other viruses, such as COVID-19, it should provide separate reports for each type.
You must contact your doctor for the next steps. They can help you manage your flu infection and lessen your symptoms.
You should still talk to a doctor if you get a negative result. They can assess if you need more tests, especially if your first test was a rapid antigen test.
Rapid diagnostic tests are more likely to produce false negatives.
Using at-home influenza tests to detect influenza infection is common. However, the accuracy of their results depends on various factors, such as:
Doctors recommend flu testing if you have flu-like symptoms. It can help them determine the cause of your symptoms.
You can also take an at-home flu test any time you have symptoms. The doctor might order more tests if you have positive results.
The onset of the flu feels like a common cold with frequent sneezing, runny nose, and sore throat. But unlike colds that slowly develop, flu symptoms usually show up suddenly.3
At-home tests like LetsGetChecked Coronavirus Test (COVID-19) and Labcorp COVID-19 + Flu PCR Test can help your doctor confirm a flu diagnosis.
In addition, testing at home lowers the risk of spreading the virus to others.
Early detection of the flu virus can help prevent it from spreading to people you frequently interact with — like household members and co-workers.
After taking an at-home flu test, you must discuss treatment options with your doctor. In some cases, they may require further testing for other conditions like respiratory tract infection.
Since the flu is a viral infection, your doctor may prescribe antiviral drugs to lessen your symptoms. These medications can also speed up your recovery and prevent complications like pneumonia.
Besides taking care of yourself, you must be careful around other people.
If you feel sick, these tips will prevent you from spreading the infection:
Consider getting annual flu vaccines and a COVID vaccine. It can protect you and your loved ones from the flu and its health complications.
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