How is influenza diagnosed?

Updated: Apr 23, 2019
  • Author: Hien H Nguyen, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
  • Print
Answer

Influenza has traditionally been diagnosed on the basis of clinical criteria, but rapid diagnostic tests, which have a high degree of specificity but only moderate sensitivity, are becoming more widely used. The criterion standard for diagnosing influenza A and B is a viral culture of nasopharyngeal samples or throat samples. In elderly or high-risk patients with pulmonary symptoms, chest radiography should be performed to exclude pneumonia.


Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!