Why Aren't the H1N1 Test Results Back Yet?

Amarillo, Texas

by: Kristen Guilfoos

Local health officials say it could be several more days before we know anything about local H1N1 suspected cases.

With an extended time-line like that, NewsChannel 10's Kristen Guilfoos looked into why it's taking do long. A

After several viewers called asking about the hold up, we sat down with Amarillo's Public Health Authority to get some answers.

Here's how the testing breaks down: The rapid-result bedside test gives you results in 15 minutes. But you'll have to wait a while longer for level two, state lab tests. Dr. Todd Bell says, "Somewhere about six hours actually to run the test and a little bit of time to prep it as well."

Add that increased time to the fact that all seven labs across Texas are completely back logged with so many swabs... And you'll begin to see why we don't have any answers yet. By the time we get those answers, Dr. Bell says in all likelihood, the patients will have already recovered.

In the meantime, one of the best ways to help protect yourself from H1N1 germs is as simple as washing your hands. But getting off those germs is not as simple as you might think.

If you don't wash your hands for a minimum of 15 seconds, wash in between your fingers and wash your wrists, you're making common mistakes, but they are ones that could make you sick.

BSA RN Annette Moore says here's what you need to do to protect yourself from H1N1. "Be sure and get these thumbs. In between our fingers. Make sure you get the wrists. We rub them gently in the palm of our hands in order to get rid of the germs under our fingernails."

Both anti-bacterial gel and good old soap and water will do the trick. It's the motion of you actually moving your hands together that gets rid of the germs.