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What Is Influenza?

Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is a contagious viral infection that affects the respiratory system. It can cause a range of symptoms, including fever, chills, cough, sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, and headaches. Influenza is typically more severe than the common cold and can lead to complications such as pneumonia, particularly in vulnerable populations such as young children, elderly individuals, and those with weakened immune systems.

Warning signs of Cold and Flu

The flu virus spreads easily through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. It can also be spread by touching a surface contaminated with the virus and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.

Influenza/Flu Test Panel

World-class tests, at your doorstep

Influenza Panel

Total Tests Included: 5

The Flu-Xpert Viral Panel detect Influenza A, Influenza B, H1N1, H3N2, and Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

₹ 4500

What is Influenza Test?

Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is a viral respiratory infection. If you experience flu-like symptoms, your healthcare provider may conduct a flu test to confirm the diagnosis. In case of a positive diagnosis, your healthcare provider may prescribe antiviral medicine to combat the virus, if necessary. For optimal results, antiviral medication should be administered within two days of the onset of symptoms. This medication can help alleviate flu symptoms and potentially reduce the duration of illness by about one day.

Types of Influenza Viruses

There are 4 main types of influenza viruses that affect humans: influenza A, influenza B, influenza C and influenza D.

Types of Influenza

Influenza A: This type of influenza virus can infect both animals and humans and is responsible for most seasonal flu outbreaks. Influenza A viruses are further classified based on two proteins on their surface, called hemagglutinin (H) and neuraminidase (N). There are 18 different H subtypes and 11 different N subtypes, which can combine in different ways to create new strains of the virus.

Influenza B: This type of influenza virus only infects humans and is less common than influenza A. Influenza B viruses are not classified based on H and N subtypes but are instead grouped into two distinct lineages, B/Yamagata and B/Victoria.

Influenza C: This type of influenza virus also only infects humans and typically causes milder respiratory illness. Influenza C viruses do not cause widespread outbreaks like influenza A and B viruses.

Influenza D: It is a type of influenza virus that primarily affects cattle, although it can also infect pigs and other mammals. In humans, influenza D has only been reported in a few isolated cases, and there is currently no evidence to suggest that it can be transmitted between humans.

What is a H3N2 Test?

The influenza A virus has a subtype known as H3N2, which can induce sickness in humans and animals such as pigs and birds. This particular strain of the flu virus is capable of causing illness. During the testing process, respiratory specimens such as nasopharyngeal swabs or nasal washes are analyzed to detect viral RNA or antigens.

Why is H3N2 Testing Done?

  • The purpose of H3N2 testing is to detect the presence of the H3N2 influenza virus in an individual or a group of people.
  • Individuals displaying symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, and fatigue are advised to undergo H3N2 testing.
  • H3N2 testing is utilized by healthcare providers to identify the cause of a patient's symptoms and establish an appropriate treatment plan.
  • Furthermore, public health officials employ H3N2 testing for surveillance purposes in order to monitor the prevalence of H3N2 and other strains of influenza.
  • By monitoring the spread of the virus, officials are able to make informed decisions about vaccination strategies and other measures to control the transmission of influenza.

What are the Different Kinds of Flu (Influenza) Tests?

  1. Rapid influenza diagnostic tests (RIDTs) can provide results in as little as 15 minutes.
  2. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests are highly sensitive and specific for influenza viruses and can provide results within hours.
  3. Point-of-care RT-PCR tests are designed to be used in near-patient settings such as clinics or doctor's offices.
  4. Viral culture is highly sensitive but can take several days to produce results.
  5. Serological tests are typically used to determine if a patient has been infected with influenza in the past, rather than to diagnose a current infection.

Prevention of Influenza/Flu

The best way to prevent influenza is to follow preventive measures including washing your hands frequently, avoiding close contact with sick individuals, and staying home when you are sick.

Prevention of Influenza/Flu

If you do contract the flu, it is important to rest, stay hydrated, and get diagnosed to see if it is flu and nor common cold.

Overall, influenza is a common and serious respiratory illness that can be prevented if diagnosed early and with good hygiene practices.

Influenza Panel/ Flu-Xpert Viral Panel

Flu-Xpert Viral Panel is a diagnostic test that is designed to detect several respiratory viruses including Influenza A, Influenza B, H1N1, H3N2, and Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). This panel uses a molecular technique known as PCR (polymerase chain reaction) to detect viral RNA in respiratory specimens such as nasopharyngeal swabs or bronchoalveolar lavage fluid.

Influenza Panel/ Flu-Xpert Viral Panel

The test is designed to be quick and easy to use, providing results within a few hours. This rapid turnaround time is particularly important during flu season when quick diagnosis can help in the management of outbreaks and in the initiation of appropriate antiviral therapy. The test has a high degree of sensitivity and specificity, meaning it is able to accurately identify the presence or absence of the target viruses.

Influenza/Flu Test Panel

World-class tests, at your doorstep

Influenza Panel

Total Tests Included: 5

The Flu-Xpert Viral Panel detect Influenza A, Influenza B, H1N1, H3N2, and Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

₹ 4500

Frequently Asked Questions

The Flu-Xpert Viral Panel detect Influenza A, Influenza B, H1N1, H3N2, and Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

If the results of the Flu-Xpert Viral Panel are abnormal, it means that one or more of the respiratory viruses that the test detects have been detected in the patient's respiratory sample. If the test detects Influenza A or B, antiviral therapy may be initiated to treat the infection. In the case of RSV, supportive care such as oxygen therapy or mechanical ventilation may be required, particularly in infants or patients with underlying medical conditions. In addition to treatment of the underlying infection, infection control measures may be implemented to prevent the spread of the virus to other individuals. This may include isolation precautions in hospital or community settings and contact tracing to identify individuals who may have been exposed to the virus.

There are generally no specific preparations required before a Flu-Xpert Viral Panel. However, patients should follow any instructions provided by their healthcare provider regarding the collection of the respiratory sample. Patients may be asked to wear a mask or other personal protective equipment (PPE) during the test to reduce the risk of spreading the virus to healthcare providers.

In addition to the Flu-Xpert Viral Panel, healthcare providers may order other tests to help diagnose and manage respiratory infections, depending on the patient's clinical presentation and medical history. Some common tests that may be ordered alongside the Flu-Xpert Viral Panel include:

  • Complete blood count (CBC): This test measures the levels of different types of blood cells and can help detect signs of infection, inflammation, or anemia.
  • Sputum culture: This test involves collecting a sample of sputum (mucus coughed up from the lungs) and sending it to a laboratory for analysis to help identify the specific bacteria causing a respiratory infection.
  • COVID-19 test: In the current pandemic, a COVID-19 test may also be ordered alongside the Flu-Xpert Viral Panel to help diagnose a SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Flu-Xpert Viral Panel is done to:

  • Aid in the diagnosis of respiratory infections caused by Influenza A, Influenza B, H1N1, H3N2, and RSV.
  • Provide rapid and accurate results, allowing for timely initiation of appropriate antiviral therapy.
  • Monitor the prevalence and distribution of these respiratory viruses in different populations.
  • Guide infection control measures in hospital and community settings to prevent the spread of these viruses.
  • Assist in identifying outbreaks of respiratory illnesses caused by these viruses and help implement appropriate public health measures to contain them.

During the Flu-Xpert Viral Panel, a respiratory sample will be collected from the patient using a nasopharyngeal swab, which involves inserting a long, thin swab through the nostril and into the back of the throat to collect a sample of secretions. Other types of respiratory samples, such as bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, may also be collected in some cases. During the collection of the respiratory sample, patients may experience some discomfort, such as a tickling or itching sensation in the nose or throat, but the procedure is generally well-tolerated and does not cause significant pain. Patients should follow the instructions of their healthcare provider regarding the collection of the respiratory sample and any other pre-test instructions.

The Flu-Xpert Viral Panel is typically recommended for individuals who present with symptoms of respiratory illness during flu season or when respiratory infections are prevalent in the community.

The symptoms that may prompt healthcare providers to order a Flu-Xpert Viral Panel may include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Body aches
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing

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