Influenza Virus

Influenza, commonly referred to as the flu, is an acute viral infection that is highly transmissible, leading to outbreaks of varying severity during the winter in temperate regions. The CDC estimates that as many as 35 million illnesses and ~12,000 flu-related deaths have occurred in the U.S. since 2010.  Although the flu is generally self-limited and uncomplicated in healthy persons, populations at risk include infants, the elderly, immunocompromised persons, and pregnant women.  Influenza virus testing is not required to make a clinical diagnosis of influenza in the outpatient setting, particularly during flu season.  However, testing should be considered if the result will inform clinical decisions (eg, whether or not to begin antiviral treatment).  Near-point-of-care testing using an FDA-cleared molecular methodology is preferable due to its rapid results and reasonably high sensitivity.

Tabs Content
Content Review: 
June 2018

Last Update: June 2019