Swine Flu (H1N1) test Lab Test

2009 flu pandemic

Clinical Definition of Swine Flu (H1N1) test

Commonly referred to as the swine flu, the H1N1 is a subtype of the orthomyxovirus that causes influenza A in humans. Despite being informally called "swine flu", the H1N1 flu virus cannot be spread by eating pork (pig meat) or pork products. It is typically contracted by person to person transmission through respiratory droplets through coughing or sneezing by people with influenza. Sometimes people may become infected by touching a surface or an object with flu viruses on it and then touching their face. H1N1 symptoms are marked especially by fever, sore throat, cough, lethargy, chills, body aches, fatigue and sometimes diarrhoea and vomiting similar to other influenza viruses. Swine flu symptoms usually last 4–6 days.

What Is Swine Flu (H1N1) Test?

The swine flu (H1N1) is a mild illness that stems from the influenza virus H1N1 2009 strain. The test affects healthy people and is known to be contracted at hospitals, affected communities and infected people. The Swine Flu (H1N1) Test is a medical diagnosis which makes use of Chest X-rays, routine blood tests, and the CBC test to identify any signs of this infection and prevent any pandemic through early and effective treatment or prevention.

Why Do I Need Swine flu Test?

Swine flu symptoms resemble those found in the regular and elderly people or people with other illnesses have a chance of dying from this infection. Reports from the U.S Center of Disease Control And Prevention (CDC) reveal that 556 deaths and 8,843 hospitalisations have occurred in the U.S. alone due to this disease.  Even children are susceptible to this and suffer from respiratory diseases like asthma and COPD, and anyone with immunocompromised systems are at risk of several complications. People who are in the advanced stages of swine flu virus infection may not be protected despite receiving immediate vaccinations. This is why you need this test to receive appropriate vaccinations on-time or early on before it becomes too late.

 

Like other influenzas, the symptoms of H1N1 too are similar which include Body aches, chills, cough, fatigue, fever, headache, loss of appetite, sore throat. 

Patients with H1N1 flu virus have also reported vomiting and diarrhoea. 

The source of infection of the virus is from consuming infected pig meat or coming in direct contact with infected swine. It is transferred when the virus enters the body, whether through the eyes, nose or mouth. It is contagious and spreads through the air and also by utilising belongings of an infected person. Other Swine flu causes are linked to moving into communities with known incidences of H1N1 Influenza A infections. 

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Rapid tests using PCR technology may be recommended to you alongside your regular quick test which is done with a nasopharyngeal swab sample to check whether you are infected with influenza A or B virus. You will have to go through routine bloodwork tests like platelet count, Complete Blood Cell Count (CBC) and Red Blood Cell Count with Hemoglobin tests for analysis of samples. 

Women who are pregnant will be suggested to go for limited testing and bronchoscopy may be required. These are the common tests involved, and it is best to consult with your doctor to identify which test is appropriate for you based on symptoms exhibited. 

Does Swine flu Test Pose Any Risk?

You may be at risk of infections, pain, and a bit of bruising when you go to the hospital to give your blood sample for analysis. 

The test is done to check for antibodies to the virus. Getting tested is an important part of swine flu prevention and treatment. Furthermore, you'll likely increase your chances of survival and treatment if you get tested early. Since the swine flu test cost is affordable at government hospitals and private clinics, it is recommended you get tested to be safe. 

What Might Affect My Test Results?

Your test results may be affected if you are on any existing drugs or medications which influence the outcome of the diagnosis. Depending on the medications or drugs you take, your swine flu virus infection may worsen, and results may get affected accordingly. Swine flu vaccine cost is very affordable at government hospitals around the world. 

When do you expect results?

You can expect your swine flu test report within 24 to 36 Hours from the time of your collecting your blood sample. 

How Do I Prepare For Swine flu Test?

Preparatory instructions before the test * 

There may be a feeling of choking or another discomfort.

One must sit with their head against a wall to reduce the tendency of pulling away during the procedure.

How Is Swine flu Test Done?

Specimen type: nasopharyngeal swab

Specimen collection procedure 

A dry swab would be inserted through one nostril straight back (not upwards), along the floor of the nasal passage until it reaches the wall of the nasopharynx. The distance from the nose to the ear would give an estimate of the distance the swab should be inserted.

The swab is gently rotated and left in its place for up to 10 seconds.

The swab is placed immediately into the transport container.

What Do My Test Results Mean?

Your test results will indicate whether you've been clinically diagnosed as positive for swine flu or negative.  If all four targets are negative in your lab report, then a repeat sample analysis will be recommended. 3 out of 4 positive targets is considered inconclusive evidence and requires repeat testing.

Understanding results of Swine Flu (H1N1) test

Reference RangeInterpretation
< 30 PCR UnitsNegative

‘*A Reference range is a set of values which helps the healthcare professional to interpret a medical test. It may vary with age, gender, and other factors. Reference ranges may also vary between labs, in value & units depending on instruments used and method of establishment of reference ranges’

Conclusion

If you're thinking of doing your swine flu test at home, you can book our services and have our healthcare specialists visit you. Your swine flu test report will be delivered to your doorstep 24- 36 hours from the moment you apply for a lab test for swine flu through us. 

References

  1. https://www.news-medical.net/health/Diagnosis-of-swine-flu.aspx
  2. https://labtestsonline.org/tests/influenza-tests
  3. http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/guidance/rapid_testing.htm
  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22149383
  5. http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/specimencollection.htm