Thursday, November 06, 2008

Virus scan

…Did you ever have a doc tell you you have a virus and let’s find out which one? Did all of you know they can test for viruses? HA has never had a doc do it.

…According to Laura Johannes (WSJ, Nov 4, 2008), doctors can try to find out which winter bug you have by testing. Most tests only test for one or two viruses and are not reliable.

…One study showed that only 17% of 3,000 kids under 3 with the flu were properly diagnosed.

…Sometimes these got antibiotics (which don’t work on viruses but do make bacteria stronger as they cycle through a lot of people’s systems).

…The FDA has approved a better test now…xTAG. It’s a virus panel. It tests for several types of flu, two types of RSV (kids), three types of parainfluenza, adenoviruses, and even the common cold virus.

…Usually this is run in the ER, but it can be done by a doctor in private practice.

…Problem is, it costs $300-$400 and takes 6-7 hours to do.

…Are you going to want to wait in the ER or go home and eat chicken soup?

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