Have the Flu? See an Urgent Care Provider

Do you have the flu? If you're not sure whether you have the flu or not, take a look at the reasons to visit your local urgent care center for a diagnosis.

You Aren't a Medical Professional

Without the expert-level knowledge a medical provider has, you're at a loss when it comes to an accurate diagnosis. Beyond that, you don't have the tools or tests to truly know if you have the flu, a cold, or another illness. A doctor, nurse practitioner, or other medical professional can:

  • Provide a full examination. This allows the medical professional to look for flu symptoms as well as signs of other illnesses, such as a cold, pneumonia, a sinus infection, strep throat, or other respiratory issues that may mimic the flu.
  • Offer diagnostic testing. Along with a rapid flu test, the medical provider can also test patients for strep or recommend bloodwork as needed. If you have severe respiratory symptoms, the provider may also suggest an x-ray or other imagining studies.
  • Answer questions. Do you have questions about the flu, how it spreads, or how to heal? You have no substitute for professional provider answers to these questions.

Along with a diagnosis, a medical provider can also offer a treatment plan.

You May Need a Prescription

While you can't immediately cure the flu, you can reduce the symptoms, severity, and duration of the illness. Even though rest and fluids are key, antiviral drugs can help you to recover — especially if you have asthma, heart disease, diabetes, or another chronic illness.

If you're still not sure why you need to see a medical provider for a suspected case of the flu, consider:

  • Whether you need a prescription. Antihistamines, pain relievers, and fever reducers don't require a doctor's prescription. But antiviral drugs do. If you have the flu and need an antiviral, you absolutely need a medical provider to write the prescription.
  • What prescription you need. Without a professional diagnosis, you won't know what illness you have. While it might seem like you have the flu (a virus), you may actually have a bacterial infection (such as strep) that requires antibiotics instead.
  • How quickly you want to get better. Whether you need an antiviral or another medication, the right prescription can reduce overall illness time.
  • Flu complications. Not only can an antiviral reduce the symptoms, severity, and duration of the flu, this medication may also lower your chances of developing a secondary complication. Talk to your provider about how your prescription reduces risks.

Do you have your spouse's or parent's leftover antivirals or antibiotics in the medicine cabinet? Never take someone else's medication. If you think you have the flu, you need a qualified medical provider for a new prescription.

You Want to Keep Other People Safe

Your treatment isn't the only reason to see a medical provider if you think you have the flu. From October 2019 and January 2020, between 19 and 26 million flu cases happened, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). How can you help to reduce this number? Help to keep others around you safe and:

  • Visit the doctor as soon as possible. The sooner you get a diagnosis, the sooner you know to stay away from co-workers, friends, family, or the public in general.
  • Follow the doctor's directions. If you have a positive flu test or the doctor believes your symptoms indicate the illness, follow the professional's directions. The quicker you recover, the sooner you can return to work, school, or other activities.
  • Ask about vaccination. Are you healthy right now? You’re not too late to get the vaccination. If you're healthy, you can protect yourself and those around you with the flu vaccine.

Even though you need to venture out for your doctor's visit, the CDC recommends flu patients stay home for at least 24 hours after a fever is gone.

Are your symptoms signs of the flu? Contact MyHealth Urgent Care for more information.

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