We investigated the proportion of patients with laboratory-confirmed type A influenza who visited an outpatient clinic and who were suitable for receiving treatment with anti-influenza viral agents. Between December 1999 and March 2000, in a community hospital, 40 patients were diagnosed as having type A influenza by specific antigen detection (n = 39) and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (n = 1). These patients with laboratory-confirmed type A influenza were enrolled in the study. We investigated the time interval between the onset of illness and visit to the outpatient clinic at the community hospital. The results indicated that 57.5% of the patients with type A influenza visited the hospital within 1 day of the onset of illness, and 77.5% visited the hospital within 2 days. The body temperature (mean ± SD) during the initial consultation was 38.9 ± 0.8°C (n = 40). Seventeen of the 40 patients (42.5%) were hospitalized. In conclusion, in the majority of patients, the time from onset of symptoms to consultation was appropriate for treatment with anti-influenza viral agents. A rapid antigen-detection assay, such as Directigen Flu A, is useful for early diagnosis and allows for early treatment with anti-influenza viral agents.