Where to Buy At-Home Flu Tests – Easy & Reliable Options

Where to buy at-home flu tests with ease - explore reliable options for rapid influenza testing kits available online and at top retailers like Walgreens, CVS, Walmart & more.

Getting ready for flu season is key. Knowing where to buy at-home flu tests matters a lot. The Online Doctor says you can pick from two tests: Lucira and Pixel. These can be used at home and are okay for folks two years old and up.1

The Lucira test is quick and finds Influenza A, B, or COVID-19 in minutes. You get the results in just half an hour.1 On the other hand, the Pixel test, made by Labcorp, needs a lab to check your sample. It looks for flu, COVID-19, and RSV. This test’s results usually take one to two days.1

You can buy these tests straight from the makers online, or at stores like Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, and Rite Aid.1

Key Takeaways

  • Lucira and Pixel are two reliable at-home flu test options that can detect influenza, COVID-19, and RSV.
  • Lucira is a rapid antigen test that provides results in 30 minutes, while Pixel is a molecular (PCR) test with results in 1-2 days.
  • At-home flu tests can be purchased online or at local pharmacies and stores.
  • Proper sample collection is crucial for accurate test results.
  • Consulting a healthcare provider is recommended, especially if test results do not align with symptoms.

Understanding the Flu Virus

The flu is a viral infection known formally as influenza. It spreads easily from one person to another.2

This illness affects the nose, throat, and lungs. It’s most common in kids, affecting up to 30% of them each year.2

What is the Flu?

The flu is a sickness that attacks your breathing system. It causes many symptoms like a high fever, cough, and aches. When you have the flu, you might also feel very tired.2

Symptoms of the Flu

Flu signs appear quickly and can make you feel really bad. You might have a high fever or intense body aches. It’s worse than a common cold and can be dangerous if not treated.2

Causes and Transmission

The flu comes from a virus that breathes out of infected people.2 You can catch it from the air or by touching things with the virus on them. This is why washing your hands is super important. It helps stop the virus from spreading.2

Diagnosing the Flu

Traditional Diagnostic Methods

Influenza is often diagnosed at a doctor’s office. The doctor will use a swab to test the patient’s nostrils or throat. Then, they will test the sample right there or send it to a lab. Sometimes, a test is not needed. Doctors may just ask about symptoms and who the patient has been in contact with.

Benefits of At-Home Flu Tests

At-home2 flu tests bring many benefits. They are easy and fast, with Lucira giving results in 30 minutes1. Pixel’s results come one to two days after they get your sample2.

TestResult TimeCostViruses Detected
Lucira At-Home Flu Test30 minutes1$39.991Influenza A, Influenza B, COVID-191
Pixel by Labcorp At-Home Flu Test1-2 days2$1292Influenza, COVID-19, RSV2

At-home flu tests are quick and accessible. They help people figure out if they have the flu fast. This is important for starting treatment within the first two days2.

Types of At-Home Flu Tests

The Online Doctor article outlines two key at-home flu test types: rapid antigen tests and molecular tests.2

Rapid Antigen Tests

Rapid antigen tests, such as the Lucira test, look for Influenza A and B virus proteins. They give results in around 30 minutes.2

Molecular (PCR) Tests

Molecular tests, for example, the Pixel test by Labcorp, analyze genetic material using a PCR process. They check for flu, COVID-19, and RSV.2

Molecular tests need to be sent to a lab. Results are ready after one to two days.3

Test TypeFlu Virus DetectionAdditional Virus DetectionResult TimeCost
Rapid AntigenInfluenza A and B30 minutes$39.99
Molecular (PCR)InfluenzaCOVID-19, RSV1-2 days$129

The test choice depends on what you’re looking for: fast results or screening for multiple viruses.23

types of at-home flu tests

Lucira At-Home Flu Test

The Lucira at-home flu test lets you quickly check for flu or COVID-19 at home. According to the Online Doctor, it takes only 11 minutes to spot Influenza A, Influenza B, or COVID-19 when they’re present. If they aren’t, it tells you in 30 minutes.4

How It Works

To use the Lucira test, you do a quick swab of your nose. Put the swab into the Lucira unit. This test is easy for people 14 and up to do on their own.4 Everything you need comes in the test kit. You’ll find the test unit, a vial for the sample, a swab, batteries, and a bag to throw it all away. They also give you clear steps on how to use it.4

Accuracy and Reliability

The Lucira at-home test is really close to lab tests, with up to a 98% match.4 It can pick up on common COVID-19 strains like Omicron and Influenza A and B.4 Even though these tests do well, remember they can be wrong sometimes. You could get a result that’s wrong, saying you are sick when you’re not, or the other way around.1

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Cost and Availability

You can buy the Lucira test kit for $39.99 each.1 You either can order it online from the maker or find it in stores.1

Pixel by Labcorp At-Home Flu Test

The Pixel by Labcorp at-home flu test is a handy option for flu worries. It uses a nasal swab to test for the flu, COVID-19, and RSV. This PCR test gives thorough results all in one sample.2

Testing for Multiple Viruses

This test can find multiple viruses at once. It looks for Influenza A, B, the COVID-19 virus, and RSV. This means you get a deep look at your health from just one sample. It’s all backed by the FDA.2

Sample Collection and Processing

Using the Pixel at-home flu test is easy. You take a nasal swab and send it to Labcorp. They process it fast, usually in 1 to 2 days. This quick turnaround helps with early treatment plans.2

This test is great for its ease and wide virus coverage. It’s ideal for anyone looking for reliable flu and virus testing at home.2

When to Use At-Home Flu Tests

Timing is key when using at-home flu tests. It’s best to test for the flu as soon as symptoms start, within four days. This way, you’ll get the most accurate results.2 It’s important because medications like Tamiflu work best if you start them within 48 hours.1

Early Testing for Best Results

Testing too late might give you a wrong answer. This happens when the flu virus isn’t found in the nasal sample.2 The article says test early. This helps you get the right treatment in time and leads to better outcomes.

Treatment Window for Antivirals

If you test within the first 4 days of symptoms, you’ll likely get an accurate result.2 This timing is key because antiviral medicines work best within 48 hours of symptom start.1 Testing early means you can start antiviral therapy soon. This can make the flu milder and shorter.

where to buy at-home flu test

The Online Doctor article talks about where to get at-home flu tests. You can buy them online or at local pharmacies and stores. It mentions the Lucira and Pixel tests, which you can buy from their official sites.1 You can also find these tests at big stores such as Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, and Rite Aid.1

Online Retailers

You can easily buy the Lucira and Pixel at-home flu tests from the makers’ websites. This is a great option for people who love shopping online.12

Local Pharmacies and Stores

These at-home flu tests are also at places like Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, and Rite Aid. So, you can pick them up near you. This is handy for getting the tests quickly.1

Interpreting Test Results

When looking at interpreting at-home flu test results, remember the impact of both positive and negative results. A positive result shows someone has the flu. They should contact a doctor. The doctor might give them antiviral medicine if it’s within 48 hours of getting sick.2

A negative result doesn’t always mean the flu isn’t there. It’s possible to get a false-negative, especially in a place with a lot of flu cases.2 If someone’s symptoms stay or get worse and the test is negative, they need to see a doctor. The doctor can check again and give advice.2

Positive Result: Next Steps

If the test is positive, it’s time to call the doctor. This is super important, especially if it’s been less than 48 hours since getting sick. Medicines like Tamiflu work best early on.2

Groups at higher risk need to be really careful after a positive test. This includes the elderly, young kids, pregnant women, sick people, and those with weaker immunity.2

Negative Result: Considerations

Getting a negative test can be comforting. But, know these tests have limits. There could still be the flu, especially if the test was done wrong. If the flu is common where you are, the risk of a false-negative is higher.2

Don’t assume all is clear with a negative test if you’re still feeling sick. Get back in touch with a doctor for another look or more tests. This is crucial if the flu is spreading a lot.2

Accuracy and Reliability of At-Home Flu Tests

Online Doctor explains that at-home flu tests are usually right on point. But, sometimes they might show the wrong result, either positive or negative.2

The Lucira and Pixel at-home tests are quite accurate. The Pixel test uses PCR, the best way to find the flu virus. It’s advised to carefully follow the test steps. And, if the results seem off, ask a doctor for advice.2

Studies showed that at-home flu tests and those done by healthcare pros, both found about 60% of cases.5 Later tests, after the first 72 hours from symptom start, had a higher chance of being wrong. This was usually showing a false negative.5

A study from February to May 2020 found that 14% of people had flu by using PCR tests.5 Doing these tests at home might help spot flu quicker. This could mean getting people treatment and keeping them away from others sooner.5

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Test too early or too late, or not getting a good sample can lead to false negative results.2 But, getting a wrong positive is very unlikely. A positive result usually means the flu virus is there.2

Cost and Insurance Coverage

At-home flu tests range in price. The Lucira kit is $39.99 for one test. Its list price is $68.6 Tests at clinics can be over $100. This is true for tests from pharmacies or urgent care centers.6

Typical Costs

The Lucira at-home test, which checks for flu and COVID-19, costs $39.99.6 If you choose the Pixel test by Labcorp, it’s $129. This test also detects RSV, another respiratory virus.7

Insurance Reimbursement Options

Health insurance might pay for at-home flu tests. This is based on individual policy rules.6 If someone has an HSA, they might use it for these tests.7

Always check with your insurance to confirm coverage for at-home flu tests. It’s good to see if you can get money back.7

Precautions and Limitations

It’s key to follow at-home flu test instructions closely for the right sample collection. If not, you might get a false-negative. This means the test could miss that you have the flu, even if you do.2

Proper Sample Collection

The Lucira and Pixel at-home flu tests both need a nasal swab sample. Skilled collection is necessary. Insert the swab gently into each nostril and rotate it. Do this process correctly to avoid wrong test results.2

False Positives and False Negatives

At-home flu tests are mostly accurate, but mistakes can happen. This is more common when many people have the flu in your area.2 A wrong positive means it says you’re sick with the flu when you’re not. A wrong negative can be from testing too early or late. It can also happen if you don’t collect the sample well.2 If your symptoms don’t match the test, see a doctor. They can give you better advice.2

Knowing about at-home flu test limits is crucial. It helps to get the right results and manage your sickness well.238

Flu Prevention and Treatment

Protecting yourself and your loved ones from the flu is crucial. The best way to do this is by getting an annual flu vaccination.2 The flu vaccine is very effective. It helps your body fight off the flu viruses that may show up the next season.2

Flu Vaccination

The flu vaccine is for anyone who is 6 months and older, including pregnant women and those with ongoing health issues.2 It cuts your risk of getting sick and needing hospital care if you do get the flu.2 It is especially vital for the elderly, young children, and people with weak immune systems.

Antiviral Medications

Some might still get the flu, but there are treatments like Tamiflu.2 These can make the flu less severe and shorter, but they work best if taken within 48 hours of feeling sick.2 If you test positive at home with a kit like Pixel by Labcorp, see a doctor to check if these meds are right for you.2

Self-Care Measures

Along with vaccination and meds, self-care is key. Rest, keep hydrated, and use OTC drugs to manage fever and aches.2 Taking care of yourself can speed up recovery and prevent the flu from getting worse.

By using vaccines, antiviral drugs, and self-care, the flu’s effects can be lessened. This way, we can fight this common illness better.

When to Seek Medical Attention

According to a recent Online Doctor article, seeking medical help is crucial if flu symptoms get worse or if they are severe. This can mean things like having trouble breathing or issues like chest pain. If you start to feel confused, dizzy, or extremely weak, it’s important to get help.2 Also, throwing up more than once or having a fever over 103°F should prompt you to contact a healthcare professional or go to the hospital. This is because the flu can sometimes lead to serious problems that need medical care.

2For those whose symptoms get worse after testing positive for the flu, it’s advised to see a doctor. This is even more critical for high-risk groups like pregnant women, kids under 5, and those with chronic diseases.2 Symptoms you should not ignore include difficulty in breathing, wheezing, chest pain, or a high fever above 103°F. Fast medical attention might be needed if you experience these.

Conclusion

The Online Doctor article gives a detailed look at at-home flu tests. It helps readers know how to deal with and understand the flu more. It talks about tests like the Lucira and Pixel tests and how good they are at finding the flu.9

The article shows why at-home tests are good. It says they can help people know if they have the flu fast. This is key because getting the right care within the first 48 hours is crucial.10 It also tells readers how to read their test results and what to do next, like taking precautions and when to see a doctor.

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In general, this article is great for anyone wanting to deal with the flu season using at-home test kits. By learning about different tests, their prices, and the right ways to use them, readers can make smart choices. They can then act early and better manage their flu symptoms.910

FAQ

What are the two main over-the-counter options for at-home flu testing?

The Online Doctor article shares two choices for testing at home. The first is the Lucira test. It’s a rapid test, giving results in 30 minutes. The second is the Pixel test by Labcorp, which is a molecular test. It can find the flu, COVID-19, and RSV. Results come in one to two days after the lab gets the sample.

What are the symptoms of the flu?

The Online Doctor article says flu symptoms include fever, cough, and a runny or stuffy nose. You might also have a sore throat, headache, and not feel well. Children might feel sick to their stomach or have diarrhea more often.

How is the flu typically diagnosed?

The Online Doctor article says doctors often use a swab to test inside your nose or throat for the flu. They might test the sample in the office or send it to a lab. Sometimes, doctors don’t test. Instead, they look at your symptoms and who you’ve been near.

What are the two main types of at-home flu tests?

The Online Doctor article explains there are two main types. One type is a rapid test, which quickly finds flu virus proteins. The other type, a molecular test, searches for flu virus genetic material. This means it can also find COVID-19 and RSV. The results for this type come after one to two days.

How does the Lucira at-home flu test work?

The Online Doctor article says the Lucira test is a quick, rapid test. You use a swab to take a nose sample. Then, within 30 minutes, you’ll know if you have the flu, COVID-19, or neither. And you don’t have to leave home to do the test.

What are the key features of the Pixel by Labcorp at-home flu test?

According to the Online Doctor article, the Pixel test by Labcorp is different. It’s a molecular test, so it can find the flu, COVID-19, and RSV with just one nose swab. You send the sample to a lab where it gets tested. Then, in one to two days, you get your results.

When is the best time to use an at-home flu test?

The Online Doctor article suggests using the test within four days of noticing flu symptoms. This timing helps get the most accurate results. It’s crucial because if the flu is confirmed, antiviral medicines work best in the first 48 hours.

Where can at-home flu tests be purchased?

The Online Doctor article says you can buy these tests online or in some local stores. Places like Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, and Rite Aid might have them. Check their websites or visit in person to see if they’re in stock.

How should the results of an at-home flu test be interpreted?

The Online Doctor article offers advice on reading the test results. A positive test means you should contact a healthcare provider. They might recommend antiviral treatment. But remember, a negative test could still be wrong. If your symptoms stay or get worse, it’s wise to consult a doctor for additional checks.

How accurate and reliable are at-home flu tests?

The Online Doctor article notes that at-home tests are usually reliable. However, there might be occasional mistakes. Both the Lucira and Pixel tests are dependable. The Pixel test, especially, is a PCR test, known for its accuracy in detecting the flu virus.

How much do at-home flu tests cost, and are they covered by insurance?

As mentioned in the Online Doctor article, the Lucira test is priced at .99 each, and the Pixel by Labcorp test costs 9. Some health insurance plans might pay for these tests. It’s best to check with your insurance company to see if you can get reimbursed.

What precautions should be taken when using at-home flu tests?

The Online Doctor article stresses following the test’s instructions thoroughly. Collect the sample correctly to prevent false-negative results. Though reliable most of the time, any test can have errors. This is more likely if there’s a lot of flu going around in your area.

When should someone seek medical attention for the flu?

If flu symptoms get worse or very severe, immediate medical care is necessary. Signs like trouble breathing, chest pain, confusion, or extreme fatigue should not be ignored. Also, seek help if you vomit repeatedly or have a high fever over 103°F, the Online Doctor article warns.

Source Links

  1. https://www.blueberrypediatrics.com/health-tips/at-home-flu-test
  2. https://www.goodrx.com/conditions/flu/at-home-flu-test
  3. https://www.testing.com/tests/at-home-influenza-test/
  4. https://sunlinesupply.com/shop/test-kits/lucira-covid-flu-at-home-rapid-pcr-test-kit/
  5. https://www.health.com/condition/flu/at-home-flu-test-accuracy
  6. https://www.verywellhealth.com/at-home-flu-test-7377822
  7. https://www.walgreens.com/topic/promotion/covid-testing.jsp
  8. https://blog.walgreens.com/health/cough-cold-flu/flu-testing-and-diagnosis.html
  9. https://haluxdiagnostic.com/flu-test-kits/
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8905479/