Testing kits in high demand as confirmed flu deaths continue to rise

It's a convenient and quick way to test for the flu

WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Flu testing kits are in high demand this time of year. There are many ways you can check to see if you have the flu, but one testing method can give you the results in just minutes.

Steven Pirola, a physicians assistant at Noble Express Care in Westfield, sees dozens of patients a day during flu season. To test whether a patient has the flu, they use what’s called an Influenza A and B test.

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It’s a rapid diagnostic that screens for the influenza virus infection, providing results within 15 minutes.

“A little swab gets put into the nose and we test it here, put it in some solution for a while and it has the antigen on that, so it’s sort of an antigen antibody reaction,” Pirola told 22News.

Noble Express Care goes through nearly 30 test kits a day. Pirola says while the facility in Westfield is well-stocked but some places are running low due to the high demand.

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He says although the kits aren’t essential, it’s a convenient and quick way to test for the flu.

The high demand for these kits seems to demonstrate people are taking responsibility for their own health. Jairo Canales, a Westfield resident told 22News to low count of tests could be good news, “If they do run out I think its a good thing that everyone’s being health conscious and trying to be healthier.”

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Sometimes the rapid diagnostic test isn’t always accurate so be sure to also check with your healthcare provider if you feel you have flu just based on symptoms.