According to the Broome County Health Department, the prevalence of Influenza in the community continues to decline. This means we have entered the official “end of Flu season”.
Rapid Antigen Tests should not be used to diagnose Influenza or RSV at this time. When there is a low prevalence of the Influenza or RSV virus in the population, the positive predictive value of the rapid test is low, and false positive results are much more likely. It is for this reason, and in accordance with pre-established UHS policy, that the laboratory is discontinuing the use of Rapid Influenza and RSV Antigen Testing until November 1, 2011. A viral respiratory culture will be performed instead, providing accurate results, with a 2-3 day turn around time. Rapid Antigen Testing will be re-instated at the beginning of next year’s season.
For questions, please call the Laboratory Client Service department at 763-5780.