Got the Flu? AveraNow Lets You Fight it From Bed
Sandpaper throat, leaky-faucet nose and of course the now I’m freezing/now I’m sweating combo that’s telling you loudly and clearly: You have the flu.
If a drive to the doctor’s office or an urgent care clinic sounds like too much, just log-on and see a professional like AveraNow’s Muriel Engbrecht, CNP.
“I get calls from people sick in bed all the time,” she said. “Flu is among the top conditions patients will use AveraNow for – no need to go out to the clinic when you can just reach us on your phone or laptop.”
Engbrecht said those classic flu conditions – high fever, coughing and runny nose – are all among the initial symptoms of flu.
“When we get calls, we apply the CDC guidelines for treating the flu, but the treatment and approaches are tailored to the individual,” she said. “In some cases, especially people who fall into higher-risk groups, we may refer them to their primary care physician.”
In other situations, AveraNow providers can prescribe medications such as Tamiflu, although that drug has limitations.
“People who face chronic conditions like diabetes or COPD may be the best fit for a treatment like Tamiflu prescription, as well as children 5 and younger or individuals who are 65 or older,” she said. “Tamiflu does offer some help, but some studies have shown it only helps if administered within the first 24-48 hours of the onset of flu symptoms.”
For most people in the “normal” area of risk from flu, Engbrecht opts for education.
“Tamiflu can reduce the symptoms, but it typically reduces only about 12 hours of symptoms for patients in the average-risk group. It can provide more significant aid to higher-risk patients,” she said.
AveraNow providers can also help people who are uncertain if what they face is the flu, strep throat or something else.
“Flu gets spread when people still have it and return to work too soon,” she said. “That’s one thing we can provide you as well – a work slip so you can inform your employer that you’ve seen a medical professional and are staying home to recover and not spread it to your team at work.”
With the 24/7 access offered by AveraNow, it’s nice to have options when you’re ill.
“We can see you in person at an AveraNow kiosk at several locations, or you can reach out to us via the AveraNow app,” she said. “We have already seen a lot of pink-eye this year and that’s something that we can help determine and treat with a prescription. If there’s a condition we cannot treat through AveraNow, we’ll refer you to an urgent care or your provider for further evaluation and treatment.”