Swine Flu (H1N1) test

 

Clinical definition of the Swine Flu (H1N1) test
H1N1 is a subtype of the orthomyxovirus that causes influenza A of 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. It is marked especially by fever, sore throat, cough, lethargy, chills, body aches, fatigue and sometimes diarrhea and vomiting similar to other influenza viruses. Symptoms usually last 4–6 days.

Why is the Swine Flu (H1N1) test done?
This test is done to check for antibodies to the virus.

What are the common signs/symptoms when the Swine Flu (H1N1) test is done?
The symptoms of H1N1 flu are similar to other influenzas, and may include:

  • Fever 
  • Cough (typically a "dry cough")
  • Headache
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Sore throat
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Runny nose
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Neurological problems

People at higher risk of serious complications include those aged over 65, children younger than 5, children with neuro-developmental conditions, pregnant women (especially during the third trimester) and those of any age with underlying medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, or a weakened immune system (e.g., taking immunosuppressive medications or infected with HIV).

Who should do the Swine Flu (H1N1) test (Target population)?
Persons showing signs of influenza.

What should I do before the Swine Flu (H1N1) test?

Specimen type

Specimen collection procedure

Preparatory instructions before the test *

Nasopharyngeal Swab

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.

There may be a feeling of choking or other discomfort.

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

*Subjects suffering from any illness or on oral or injectable medications are advised to consult their physician prior to requesting any tests or procedures.

How do I interpret my Swine Flu (H1N1) test results?

Reference Range*

Interpretation

< 30 PCR Units

Negative

‘*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’

Diseases/conditions related to the Swine Flu (H1N1) test

  • Pneumonia
  • Bronchitis
  • Sinus infection

Other tests related to the Swine Flu (H1N1) test

  • Haemogram
  • ESR
  • Blood Culture
  • Culture of nasal secretion

Synonyms : 2009 flu pandemic
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