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Healthy Tips

Rapid Flu Test Leads to Quick Treatment

Diagnosis in as little as five minutes

If you catch the flu bug, an accurate and rapid diagnosis may reduce the length and severity of the illness.

The ID NOW™ test is conducted using a simple swab inside the nose. A positive result is available in as little as five minutes, compared to what is often a wait of up to 48 hours for other types of testing.

“By diagnosing flu early and more accurately, we can ensure patients are getting the right treatment as soon as possible. This will also help reduce the spread of the flu,” says Douglas Ambler, MD, medical director of quality, Northwestern Medicine Regional Medical Group. “For patients with high risk factors, early treatment can be the difference between having a minor illness versus a more serious illness that could require hospitalization.”

Symptoms of the flu include acute onset of fever, cough, sore throat, muscle aches, headache, runny nose and fatigue. Northwestern Medicine Convenient Care Centers in Aurora, Bartlett, Bloomingdale, Glen Ellyn, Naperville, St. Charles and Wheaton, Illinois, offer the ID NOW rapid flu test. No appointment is necessary, and walk-in services are available.

Learn about additional ways to prevent getting — and spreading — the flu.

Douglas L. Ambler, MD
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