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Rapid Flu Test, Beneficial in Cutting Down Antibiotic Use

Washington: A novel study has portrayed the benefits of subjecting adult patients to rapid flu diagnostic tests, which can drastically reduce the regularity// of antibiotic use. This is perhaps the first study of its kind to evaluate the effects of rapid influenza testing on adults. The study is published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

A study to explain the benefits of this diagnostic tool, revealed that 86 percent of adult patients diagnosed with the flu much early, had to be given antibiotics, as against 99% of patients whose flu got diagnosed much later. "It's very encouraging that physicians can respond to a viral diagnosis," said lead author Dr. Ann Falsey, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Yet, she agreed that more research is required to assist doctors in taking a decision about antibiotic use in patients.

Today, many hospitals employ rapid flu testing as an integral diagnostic measure. Rapid flu testing, tests for the presence of viral proteins in the noses or throats of patients, who come up with flu like symptoms. With this test, results are available rapidly within minutes. Sure enough, Doctors are able to take quick decisions about the mode of treatment for the patient.

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