Everyone should get an annual flu shot to reduce the risk of catching influenza. However, even if you do get your flu shot, there’s still a chance you could come down with the flu. During the 2018-2019 season, the flu caused about 40 million illnesses in the U.S. according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Rapid onset of symptoms like chills, fatigue, cough, and muscle aches are all associated with influenza. A fever often accompanies influenza, so providing your temperature during your MDLIVE telehealth visit helps our doctors arrive at an accurate diagnosis. In fact, according to the CDC, diagnosing the flu based on symptoms like cough and fever is 79-88% effective during the flu season. In contrast, rapid influenza testing (a swab of the cheek) is just 50-70% and can unnecessarily slow down treatment.
Because influenza is so contagious, if you’ve had close contact with someone that has a confirmed case of the flu, our doctors can evaluate you for post-exposure treatment, even if you may not currently have flu symptoms. This is especially important for high-risk patients, including pregnant women and those over 65.