Flu and virus season can sweep over countries very quickly. Because of this, many individuals want to take extra precautions not only to safeguard their health and wellness but also the health of those around them. One of the best ways to combat these illnesses is by undergoing a test.

While a test for the flu and other viruses may be relatively simple in your home country, this may not be the case when you’re overseas. At some point, you may find yourself in a new country with healthcare systems you’re unfamiliar with.

Are you sick with symptoms of the flu? Are you worrying that you have caught a virus on your trip? We’re here to let you know how to get a test for cases of flu and viruses overseas. Read on to know more.


et Tested for Flus and Viruses Overseas

Signs And Symptoms You Need To Pay Attention To

If you’re looking this up, chances are you’re already worried about having caught a bug, being sick, or simply planning on how to navigate the healthcare landscape. To know if you have the flu and other similar viruses, some telltale signs are . following

  • Fever
  • Cough and sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Body aches
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Chills
  • Fatigue

Though these are the most common signs, other individuals may also sometimes suffer from diarrhea and vomiting. Other people may also exhibit respiratory symptoms without having a fever.

Types Of Flu And Virus Testing

In order to ascertain that you have the flu or particular virus while you’re overseas, laboratory tests are required. To detect the influenza virus responsible for this, there are two possible ways of testing.


The virus testing normally used by medical professionals is by molecular assays. The other more common examination is called the antigen detection test, which includes rapid influenza diagnostic tests (RIDTs). Although both of these rely on culturing viral bacteria, results from the approaches vary.

In light of this, the Infectious Diseases Society of America urges the use of rapid influenza molecular assays over RIDTs as these can produce more accurate results. These can also provide speedy results within 15 to 20 minutes of testing.

What Happens During A Flu And Virus Test

No matter what testing approach is taken, the patient in question needs to undergo a swab test. Here, the medical personnel in charge will administer a throat swab or swipe the inside of your nose prior to sending the specimen in for testing.

Depending on the context and if a respiratory illness outbreak occurs due to a virus, testing for these illnesses can be done to gauge the cause of the outbreak.


Here, viral culture, diagnostic tests, rapid antigen testing, serology, and transcription-polymerase chain reaction can be used as testing methods.

Other testing approaches used for outbreaks in a closed setting, usually overseas, such as a cruise ship, a flight, hospitals, long-term care facilities, summer camp, school, and the like, are immunofluorescence assays and rapid molecular assays.

These approaches can take anywhere from 3 to 10 days, while others show results within 80 minutes.

How To Get Tested For The Flu And Viruses

If you have symptoms of the flu and other similar viruses and you want to undergo a test overseas, it’s best to call the local health department in the area.

In the event that you do not have access to local authorities, immediately inform the management in the area such as the head of the cruise ship or the manager in your hotel accommodation.

Should you have comprehensive insurance coverage, you can simply ask your health care provider of they honor your insurance. If they do, they can help set you up for flu and virus testing overseas without you incurring additional charges. Before anything, make sure to call your insurance company.

Last but not least, you can easily consult with a doctor in the area to see if you can come in for a test, rather than directly going to the emergency room. Another worthy alternative is calling the local health department as they normally provide tests for free.

test for flu

The Bottom Line

It’s always great to stay on top of your well-being. By knowing where and how to get a test for cases of flu and viruses overseas, you can take the necessary measures to ensure your optimal health while traveling.