Friday, May 1, 2009
SAN DIEGO A lot of people in San Diego have shown up at doctors' offices, thinking they have the swine flu. But that doesn't mean they'll be tested for it.KPBS reporter Tom Fudge has more.
Influenza comes around every year in its seasonal garb. But the flu is not a reportable disease. That means physicians aren't required to test and report every suspected case of flu to the government. That rule still largely applies, now that swine flu is going around. But patients are supposed to be tested if they are hospitalized with severe flu-like symptoms.
In San Diego, the clinic that hospitalized the patient will perform what's called a rapid test to see if they have the flu. They then send a swab to the county health administration, for further testing, whether or not the rapid test is positive. Local doctors say the swine flu test may be performed by state or federal authorities. These testing protocols will not catch every case of swine flu. But doctors say they will be used unless the swine flu turns into something more virulent.
Tom Fudge, KPBS News.