Rapid flu tests give you results in less than an hour

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WICHITA, Kan. There are a lot of people who may feel sick but do not have the time or the desire to go to the doctor to get tested for the flu.

They may have the coughing, the fever, the chills, the achy body, all signs they may be getting sick.

Millions across the country are caught up in the flu that's widespread in every state except Hawaii.

Via Christi's lab has done a lot of tests and seen a lot of positive results.

"Once we start to see a few positives, our curve usually accelerates pretty rapidly as it did this year," said Dr. Maggie Hagan, and Infectious Disease Specialist at Via Christi.

With more people going to the doctor to get tested, new testing available has helped speed that process along, testing that was not available several years ago.

"We have molecular testing available that can give us a fairly rapid result within about an hour, we use it primarily in our ER where we can do a rapid molecular test for influenza," said Hagan.

When you talk to your doctor, ask for the Rapid Flu Test. The CDC says some of these tests can produce results in as little as 15 minutes.

If you test positive for the flu, and it's mild, they can send you home with treatment rather than needing to stay in an emergency room or doctor's office around other people who may be more sick than you.

That rapid test does have drawbacks. It only tests for the flu.

If you or your child have more severe symptoms, you may have one of the other respiratory viruses going around, like RSV. If that's the case, you may want to skip the rapid test and go for the more intense version that tests for those other viruses.

Just knowing what's making you sick is a huge benefit for doctors.

"I can't imagine working in a situation where we didn't have these tests available ...so knowing what you are dealing with is the biggest part of the battle," said Hagan.