Influenza virus usually causes mild infection of the upper respiratory tract. The clinical syndromes associated with the viral infection include pneumonia (influenza virus pneumonia), lower respiratory tract infection without pneumonia, influenza complicated by bacterial pneumonia and bacterial and viral pneumonias. Influenza viral infections in individuals with kidney diseases, heart diseases, renal impairment, rheumatic heart diseases, immunodeficiency diseases and diabetes are quite severe. These infections are also severe in young infants, elderly people and pregnant women.
IgM antiviral antibody appears in the bloodstream following an infection. This antibody is the first to appear (early antibody response) during a primary infection. The test detects influenza IgM antibody in the blood.
Why the test is ordered?
Influenza or flu is a highly contagious disease. Physicians recommend the test to detect the influenza virus early and diagnose the disease in the initial stage itself and thus to prevent future complications.
When is the test ordered?
A flu test may be ordered within first few days of the onset of typical influenza like signs and symptoms during a flu season. The test may be recommended for people who are weak, hospitalized, have low immunity and who are at increased risk of developing serious illness. The signs and symptoms include fever, headache, weakness, sore throat, stuffy nose, cough, chills and muscle pain. The test may also be used to diagnose an infection by the influenza virus.
How is the sample collected?
A blood sample from the arm is collected.
How to prepare for the test?
No special preparations are required for this test.