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Stay Home: 4 Non-Contagious Ways to See a Doctor When You Have the Flu
Flu season this year is no joke.
The virus is putting people in the hospital and causing dozens of deaths across the country.
Flu shots are no guarantee you won’t get sick, although doctors recommend you get one anyway.
“[If] you haven’t gotten a vaccine, please get a vaccine. Also, please get your children vaccinated,” says Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald recommends people “take every advantage that you can to protect yourself.”
If you do end up getting sick, some doctors are urging patients to turn to virtual health care options to avoid infecting others.
“If you're sick, you're not feeling well, the last thing you want to do is get in your car, get on the subway to go to the hospital or your doctor,” Dr. Rahul Sharma, emergency physician-in-chief at New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center, told ABC News.
“From a public health standpoint, the patient that's infected then doesn't infect other people,” Sharma notes.
Besides protecting other people from your germ cloud, virtual doctor visits can also save you money on medical bills.
How to Find a Virtual Doctor
The great thing about virtual health care is, thanks to the magic of the internet, you don’t have to live near a physician or medical center to get flu treatment.
Here’s where to find an online healthcare provider.
Your Health Insurance Plan
Several medical insurance providers cover telehealth visits with an online doctor.
For instance, some UnitedHealthcare plans cover virtual visits for $40 or less.
Local and Regional Hospitals
Several hospitals around the country offer online appointments with a healthcare provider.
Many also accept insurance.
Walgreens pharmacy offers video visits with Board-certified physicians in most states for $49 per visit.
Independent telehealthcare providers
Several independent companies arrange virtual doctor visits, too, including:
Virtual doctor visits are a great way to relieve the, uh, congestion at crowded urgent care providers and prevent the spread of the flu epidemic.
Lisa McGreevy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.