3 things to know about rapid flu tests

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The most common influenza diagnostic used at hospitals during flu season are Rapid Influenza Diagnostic Tests that produce results in about five minutes, according to a report from CBS News.

Here are three things to know.

1. RIDTs rely on samples from deep nasal swabs to produce results. The tests produce a diagnosis much quicker than a lab test.

2. At a cost of $5 to $10, rapid flu tests are also much cheaper than lab tests, which can cost more than $200.

3. With an accuracy rate of 50 to 70 percent, RIDTs produce more false results than comprehensive lab tests. False positives are more likely when the prevalence of influenza in the community is low and false negatives are more likely to occur when prevalence of the virus in the community is high, according to the CDC.

To see the CDC's guidance for RIDTs, click here

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