Guidelines for Diagnostic Testing and Treatment
According to the CDC guidelines, patients with clinical illness consistent with uncomplicated influenza who reside in an area where influenza viruses are circulating may not require diagnostic influenza testing for clinical management. Most mild cases of H1N1 infection are self-limiting and do not require confirmation. However, if a patient is hospitalized due to the severity of the symptoms, or if the diagnosis of the patient will provide needed information to the physician to direct clinical care, infection control decisions, or management of close contacts, diagnostic influenza testing should be done.
In any case, if a decision to use antiviral treatment is made, the treatment should commence as soon as possible, without waiting for the results of confirmatory diagnostic tests.