Why do doctors not automatically check for the flu?

Can I vent for a minute?! Maybe a little long. So Friday night January 11th my 5 year old son seemed a little congestion, no big deal right?! So I gave him some Zyrtec and figured it was allergies from the crazy weather we have here. The next morning on Saturday the 12th he woke up and looked and felt terrible. He woke up with a fever, congestion, coughing, running nose, shivering one minute, sweating the next. I tried to get it under control my self that day since of course the doctors office isn’t open on weekends. I ended up taking him to the ER that night, I couldn’t keep his fever down without the help of Tylenol and ibuprofen. The Er checks him for strep, which came back negative, and then told us, it was just an upper respiratory viral infection, prescribed him a steroid and sent us on our way. The next day which is Sunday the 13th, he still isn’t feeling well but fever has been broke without medicines, and my daughter, his 3 year old sister then wakes up with a fever and basically the same symptoms. Figuring she has the same thing I just keep doing Tylenol and ibuprofen and Zyrtec until I can get her into the doctor the next day. Finally it’s Monday January 14th, my son seems to be feeling better, just had a cough. So I send him off to school. While he was at school took baby sister to doctor. Doctor checked for rsv and strep, which came back negative. Doctor said she had the same thing big brother had, sent her in a steroid as well and sent us on our way. The next day which is Tuesday by now, my son woke up looking like a mac truck has hit him. He had every symptom he had before except fever. I make him a doctor appointment and demand a flu test to be taken on him. They do the test and then they come in and say he is positive for Flu A. I ask them about little sister and they said she more than likely has it too. Sooo I make her a appointment for that day as well, and she of course tests positive for it too. Why do doctors not just automatically test for flu to rule it out? My kids have been miserable. They both were prescribed tamiflu. It’s now Thursday, and my daughter seems to be doing a lot better than my son. They both have had the 4 doses of tamiflu since Tuesday. They both still have a cough, little sister is almost back to normal, but big brothers voice is very hoarse still and he still isn’t up moving around and being his crazy self. :weary: I just feel like they could have been already on the road of being better if the doctors they had saw the first time would have checked. I hate seeing my baby’s feel so bad. Another note, does anyone know long the flu can be contagious for?

Rant over!

P.s Yes, they both have had their flu shots!


I have never heard of being tested for flu before this year. My sister was telling me she got tested for it. I’m not sure why our area doesn’t test for flu but they don’t. Good luck

I know in S.C. they test for flu and strep first thing.

First of all flu shots are a 50/50 chance, u can still get sick. Second, I dk but allergies are very mild, if they get a fever it’s automatically the flu or the cold. So Zyrtec should only be used for allergies. ER usually just makes sure the patient is stable and recommend them get seen by their original primary care physician- the sooner u see the dr the better. It’s always trail and error when a kid gets sick- just for Next time u see them have those symptoms use the same medication they gave this time around.
Drs aren’t around ur kid 24/7 so only u know their symptoms and u should tell them everything so they can diagnose it quickly. Give them a good few days before sending them off to school.

They are contagious for I believe 2 days? My step son had it on Christmas and he was at his moms house for 2 days before we could see him (we have a 2 month old and didnt want to risk baby getting it)