A group of researchers confirmed what has been suggested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — rapid influenza antigen tests (RIATs) are not trustworthy because their sensitivity is too low.

Why it matters: 50% of patients infected with influenza may have had prolonged illness if they were initially misdiagnosed as flu-free and didn’t receive the proper treatment, according to the abstract presented Sunday at the ASM Microbe 2018 conference.

Advice: Fauci told Axios that clinicians and patients should rely upon nasal swabs that look for influenza viral RNA or nucleic acids, or have their patient samples cultured for a couple days. But, treatment should not wait for cultured analysis, he added, because it’s most effective at the beginning of the infection.

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