Seasonal Influenza

Diagnosis (Adults)

Influenza testing is not needed for all patients with signs and symptoms of influenza to make antiviral treatment decisions during flu season.

Respiratory virus testing should be considered in individuals presenting during influenza season with fever and influenza-like symptoms of myalgia, arthralgia, headache, and/or sore throat.

A clinical diagnosis of influenza should be made for outpatients with signs and symptoms consistent with influenza. For outpatients and emergency room patients, results of diagnostic testing are not available in a timely manner to inform clinical decision making.

Testing is appropriate for hospitalized inpatients, especially if a positive test would result in a change in clinical management.

Nasopharyngeal swab specimens are the preferred specimen for the purpose of respiratory virus testing.

A new influenza A/B/RSV PCR (#7255) is the diagnostic test offered at UCLA.