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Validation of self-swab for virologic confirmation of influenza virus infections in a community setting.

Abstract

Few studies have investigated the validity of self-collected nose and throat swabs for influenza confirmation in community settings. We followed outpatients with confirmed influenza with sequential measurement of viral loads and applied log-linear regression models to the viral shedding patterns. Among 176 outpatients with confirmed influenza, the detection of virus and quantitative viral loads obtained from self-swabs was consistent with statistical predictions based on earlier and later measurements, suggesting that self-collected nose and throat swabs can be a valid alternative for virologic confirmation of influenza A or B infection in a community setting.

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