Positive tests for influenza A in outpatient clinics may help to predict when hospitals can expect to see flu, reports MedPage Today.

One week prior to influenza activity increasing in two southern California emergency departments (ED), the portion of positive tests for influenza A increased in certain southern California outpatient clinics, reported Paige MK Larkin, PhD, of the University of California Los Angeles, in a late-breaking presentation at ASM Microbe.

Larkin talked about the importance of infection control when dealing with the flu in hospitals, but that by the time that EDs realize that cases of flu are increasing, it may already be too late.