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Are you putting yourself, or others, at risk for catching the flu?

Flu season is here again, and for 2016-2017, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that everyone, 6 months of age and older, gets vaccinated. It’s hard to argue with this recommendation. After all, who wants the fever, coughing, stuffy nose, sore throat, lethargy, and every other miserable symptom associated with influenza? While a flu shot has been proven to reduce medical visits for illnesses caused by circulating influenza viruses by 50% to 75%, there’s another tactic you can take to limit your chances of catching one of them—AVOIDANCE!

At work…

We all know that one “trooper” in the workplace. The one who rarely takes a day off, yet when falls ill, continues to come into the office, sneezing or coughing his/her head off in the lunchroom, or even worse, just feet away from you. Let’s face it, this individual is no company hero, but is literally ground-zero for spreading influenza to everyone. The best advice for your co-worker? “Go home.” In fact, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that anyone suffering from influenza stay home, and not go to work, school, perform errands, etc.—not only for the sake of not getting others sick, but so that they can recover as well.

At the doctor’s office…

Common sense tells us that our chances of being exposed to an array of germs and viruses rises the moment we step foot into the waiting room of a doctor’s office, urgent care center, or ER—regardless of what medical condition brought us there. Now, a recent study published in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology confirms this. The study revealed that 3.17% of children (and their family members) who visited their pediatrician’s office for a well-visit experienced flu-like symptoms within two weeks of their appointment. On the surface, 3.17% might not seem like a very large percentage, but it actually resulted in 766,000 additional subsequent visits to doctors for treatment. Again, avoidance seems to be your best strategy for limiting your chances of catching the flu.

So, I shouldn’t seek treatment if I get sick?!

Of course you should! But there is a smarter, more convenient option for seeing a doctor, which doesn’t involve increasing your chances of you getting even more sick, or passing your illness on to others — MDLIVE® virtual care! If you suspect you may have the flu, and after 24 hours of taking over-the-counter medications, sleeping, and drinking lots of fluids, your symptoms still haven’t improved, it may be time to contact a professional.

MDLIVE gives you 24/7 access to an entire network of board-certified doctors and pediatricians, who can determine if you have a common cold, head cold, cold virus, the flu, or something else, and treat you accordingly. All visits are done via phone or secure video, from anywhere, using a phone, smartphone, or PC—so you can have your consultation right from your couch. And if it’s determined a prescription, such as an antiviral medication, is required, it can quickly be sent electronically to your nearest pharmacy. Best of all, the cost of a virtual visit with a doctor or pediatrician is only $49 or less (depending on your insurance).

Virtual Care is not just for colds and flu…

MDLIVE treats a wide range of non-emergency conditions, including: acne, allergies, cold virus, common cold, constipation, cough, diarrhea, ear problems, fever, the flu, headache, head cold, insect bites, nausea/vomiting, pink eye, rash, respiratory problems, sore throats, urinary problems/UTI, vaginitis, and more! Of course, for anything more serious, you should call 911 and go straight to the nearest emergency room for the highly skilled care you need.

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