Pharmacy flu test: result, price, how to do it?

The influenza test is a rapid diagnostic orientation test (TROD) which allows you to be screened for influenza (virus A or B) in pharmacies. This test is only recommended during an epidemic and guarantees a result in less than 30 minutes.

  Pharmacy flu test: result, price, how to do it?

The rapid diagnostic orientation test (TROD) of influenza is feasible in pharmacy , at the doctor's office, or in a medical laboratory to screen for viruses of the influenza A or B. Without prescription, it consists of a sample taken from the nose and must be done within 24-48 hours after first symptoms appear suggestive of flu ( fever temperature above 39°C, headache, body aches, sore throat, cough, extreme fatigue). As a reminder, each year in France, on average, 2 to 6 million people have influenza-like illness.

Definition: what is a TROD flu test?

The flu test is a rapid diagnostic orientation test or TROD . It detects the influenza virus in a patient via a swab in the nose . It identifies viral types ( influenza A and B ), but does not discriminate between type A virus subtypes. This test is only recommended during an epidemic , i.e. during periods of intense influenza virus circulation (autumn/winter) in order to start antiviral treatments quickly and reduce the risk of influenza complications and interrupt transmission of the virus. It is particularly recommended in communities or health establishments (EHPAD, FAM, MAS) but also for people at risk such as the elderly, frail or pregnant women. It does not present any interest outside of these indications (in city medicine for example) because of its low sensitivity, reports the Ministry of Health in a practical Guide published in 2019.

Where to do a flu test?

Unlike self-tests, TRODs cannot be performed only by health professionals duly trained. For instance :

  • In pharmacy
  • At the doctor
  • In a medical laboratory
  • To the hospital

Can we do a flu test in a pharmacy?

Yes. Since 1 is August 2016, the community pharmacist is authorized to carry out the oropharyngeal test for the diagnostic orientation of influenza, recalls the National Order of Pharmacists .

How do I do a flu test?

The flu test consists of a nasal swab . The doctor or pharmacist takes a breath sample by inserting some kind of 'cotton swab' in the nose of his patient. The analysis of this sample, which contains potentially contaminated cells, then makes it possible to determine the type of virus present (influenza A or B), can we read on the website of the Pasteur Institute.

  fashion'emploi test trod grippe
How to use a Trod flu test

How long does it take to get the results of a flu test?

TROD flu tests guarantee a rapid result in about twenty minutes.

How reliable is the flu test?

A negative test, meanwhile, does not exclude the diagnosis of influenza.

A positive test indicates that influenza A or B viruses have been found in the patient's body. A negative test, meanwhile, does not exclude the diagnosis of influenza. The Ministry of Health reports of ' many false negatives , and a limited sensitivity of these tests, which is around 60% '. And to clarify ' a negative result may indeed result from a level of antigens below the detection threshold of the test (due, for example, to an incorrect sampling procedure or sampling too late in relation to the onset of the disease) 'If diagnostic certainty is required, a negative result should lead to continue the investigation with laboratory tests ( PCR )

What is the cost of the flu test and is it reimbursed?

When performed in pharmacies, the TROD test costs between 6 and 7 euros and is reimbursed up to 70% by health insurance. the test TROD flu does not require a doctor's prescription .

National Order of Pharmacists / Institut Pasteur / PRACTICAL GUIDE TO PREVENTION AND CONTROL MEASURES FLU SAISONNIERE, Ministry of Health, July 2019 / Test and self-test: pricing methods change from November 1, Health insurance, October 31, 2022 / ARS des Hauts-de-France