Manhattan internal medicine doctors and our top rated team of primary care physicians in NYC provide rapid testing for flu, and strep throat infections using FDA approved diagnostic tests. There are several different types of flu tests, but the most common is called the rapid influenza antigen test and can give results in less than 30 minutes.
Influenza is a respiratory infection caused by a virus. Usually, the virus spreads from person to person through sneezing or coughing or is contracted when you touch a surface contaminated with the flu virus before touching your face.
The flu is more common at specific times of the year and can begin as early as October and end as late as May.
Most people will recover within a week or so, but for others, the flu virus can prove more serious and can even cause death.
During the flu season, millions of Americans will contract the flu and will feel ill with fever, chills, a headache, stuffy nose, and muscle aches and other symptoms.
Rapid Flu Testing in NYC
Rapid flu testing can be useful Dr. Fathollahi, the best primary care doctors in NYC suspect you may have influenza and allows us to treat you earlier. When you receive early treatment, it can reduce the symptoms of the flu.
There are several different types of flu tests, but the most common is called the rapid influenza antigen test and can give results in less than 30 minutes.
It isn’t quite as sensitive as other types of flu tests, but these usually require us to send samples to a specialized lab.
The rapid flu test can identify the type of flu virus as there are three main types called A, Be, and C. Most outbreaks of flu are caused by either A or B flu viruses.
Who Should Have Rapid Flu Testing?
Not everyone will benefit from rapid flu testing, but it can help people at risk of complications. These include anyone with a weakened immune system or who is pregnant, or who is under age 5 or over age 65.
What is The Test for Flu?
There are two ways our physicians can collect a sample for testing. The first is using a special swab to take a sample from your nose or throat. The second is to collect nasal aspirate. This is achieved by injecting saline sedation into your nose before removing the sample using gentle suction.
What Happens If the Result Is Positive?
If you receive a positive result from the test, you may have the flu we may be able to prescribe medicine to help prevent complications from the flu.
If the result is negative, you could have some other virus that is causing your symptoms, and we might need to order additional tests before making a diagnosis.
Streptococcal Throat Infections
Strep throat is an infection caused by group A Streptococcus bacteria and which affects the throat and tonsils. These bacteria live in the throat and nose and are easily spread by sneezing and coughing, which creates small droplets containing the virus.
You can catch strep throat if you breathe in these droplets or touch something contaminated by the droplets before touching your mouth or nose. It’s also possible to catch the virus by sharing utensils with someone who is sick or by touching sores on the skin caused by the virus.
Generally, strep throat is a mild infection, but it can be extremely painful. Symptoms include a sore throat that starts very quickly and can cause pain when swallowing. You may feel feverish, and your tonsils could look red and swollen. Your neck lymph nodes may swell, and other symptoms could include a headache, nausea and vomiting, and stomach pain.
Strep throat is more common in children, and especially those aged 5 to 15. Although rare, more serious complications can occur with strep throat and especially if the bacteria spread to other parts of the body. These complications include sinus and ear infections, rheumatic fever, and post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis, which is kidney disease.
Strep Testing in NYC
The only way to determine if you have strep throat is with a rapid strep test. Our physician will gently swab the throat and can test the swab.
The test will quickly identify if group A strep is causing your sore throat and other symptoms, and results are available within minutes. This is far better than the traditional test for strep throat, which is to use a throat culture that takes two or three days to identify the bacteria.
If we do identify strep throat, we can prescribe antibiotics that will reduce the severity of symptoms and shorten the duration of illness. Treating strep throat with antibiotics helps to reduce the possibility of spreading the infection to others.
If you are treated for strep throat, you mustn’t go to work or school until you have taken your antibiotics for at least 24 hours and you no longer have a fever.
Rapid Flu and Strep Testing for Patients in NYC
Please make an appointment at one of our convenient locations in Midtown Manhattan or Upper East Side with our primary care physicians. Our general practitioners and internist doctors look forward to meeting you!