The flu season, that has already become deadly, has prompted some pharmacies in Michigan to try to help in a pilot program that offers free testing and treatment under one roof.

27 of the facilities in the state are offering free tests and treatment for both strep throat and influenza to those with qualifying symptoms. is reporting it's part of a nine-month study to determine whether patients can be served effectively for both diagnosis and treatment of the ailments in just one facility.  The testing typically costs $75.  If a prescription is called for, customers or their insurance companies will be billed.

Organizers say the program is limited to adults at this time since research on the effectiveness on children is considered incomplete by the Institutional Review Board.  The strep test is also limited in scope.  Only those 18-45 will be considered eligible as older adults--according to doctors--are unlikely to have the bacterial infection.

Those administering the treatments undergo a 20-hour training session, which includes instruction on assessing symptoms, taking culture samples and providing treatment.  The training was adminstered by the Michigan Pharmacists Association.  It is not, they say, designed to replace traditional doctor visits.

Pharmacies across the state are involved  in the event, including the Meijer stores on West Saginaw in Lansing and on Grand River Avenue in Okemos .  Meijer stores have bee offering the service since December.