Triangle doctors running low on flu test kits

WAKE COUNTY, NC (WTVD) -- Several doctor offices in the Triangle are running out of the test kits used to help determine whether patients have influenza, but medical professionals aren't phased by it.

Staff at Triangle Pediatrics in Cary tell ABC11 they ran out of flu test kits for two days within the last week, but have since restocked. Also in Raleigh, both North Raleigh Pediatric Group and Oberlin Road Pediatrics have had to restock after running out of tests.

At Carolina Kids Pediatrics in Raleigh, Dr. Christian Nechyba said they're running low on flu test kits due to high demand this flu season, but it's not a major concern.

"I would say eight times out of ten, the flu test isn't actually going to change what I do for a child-or the result of a flu test won't," said Nechyba. "What matters more is the story of their illness as well as their physical exam."

Nechyba said the test isn't as significant as some patients may think, considering how accurate they tend to be. For his patients, Nechyba said he doesn't rely on the results of a test to diagnose or treat the flu.

"Some flu tests are 70-80 percent in detecting influenza and some are, maybe 90 percent," he said. "So you don't always have to rely on a test to diagnose influenza. In fact, this time of year, often knowing the symptoms and the exam of influenza is sometimes as good as getting a test."

So far this flu season in North Carolina, 95 people have died from flu-related illness.
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