There are 2 phases to testing:
Patients who meet criteria for treatment (see treatment guidelines) should be treated regardless of test results. Thus, treatment of appropriate high risk patients is more important than testing.
Rapid screening (EIA) Testing should be conducted in:
PCR Testing may be performed on specimens from high risk patients (such as hospitalized and pregnant patients) that are NEGATIVE by Rapid EIA test but where the clinician has a high index of suspicion for Influenza. PCR testing should only be requested by the clinician if results will affect treatment decisions. Requests for PCR must be “added on” to the original sample (it will not happen automatically for negative rapid EIA).
Please see Technical Bulletins for the Rapid Test (EIA) and the PCR test for details regarding obtaining and sending specimens for EIA and PCR testing.