Flu Treatment in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Westchester, NY
Flu season began early in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York, and is widespread in our region. Early flu treatment or testing – if warranted – is critical! Walk in to any PhysicianOne Urgent Care center, 7 days a week, this flu season for:
- Evaluation of flu-like symptoms
- Testing for the flu, if symptoms indicate a potential for the flu
- Treatment for the flu – Your provider will determine if medication, such as Tamiflu, is required
- Flu shot – It is not too late to receive a flu shot, which can help protect against the flu or lessen complications
- Treatment for pneumonia, bronchitis, upper respiratory illness symptoms, strep throat, sinus infections
- Hundreds of other walk-in urgent care services
FAQ: “Besides receiving a flu shot, what can I do to protect myself from the flu virus?”
“The best way to avoid getting sick is to wash your hands with soap and water or with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer frequently, especially after shaking hands or touching surfaces that might be contaminated,” says Dr. Jeannie Kenkare, PhysicianOne Urgent Care Co-founder and Chief Medical Officer. “Don’t touch your face without first washing your hands, since we know that the flu virus can enter your body through transfer from surfaces to your hands and into your body through your nose and mouth. And don’t share food and drinks, as you’ll be sure to share the germs from contaminated cups and utensils that way.”
FAQ: “What are common symptoms of the flu?”
Influenza (flu) usually causes a number of unpleasant symptoms, including cough, stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, fever, chills, headaches, body aches, and fatigue.
FAQ: “What should I do if I think I have the flu?”
“If you think you might have the flu and are in a high-risk group, including young children, people over 65, and those with certain medical conditions, or are feeling very sick, it’s important to seek medical care early, since the most effective time-period to treat with antivirals is within the first two days,” says Dr. Brian Cruz, PhysicianOne Urgent Care Massachusetts Medical Director. “Antiviral drugs – which are not used for every patient – can help to make the illness less severe, prevent serious complications, and shorten the duration of illness.”
“It can’t be overstated: Early medical evaluation is critical. If you suspect you have the flu, walk in to any PhysicianOne Urgent Care, any day of the week or weekend,” says Dr. Kenkare.
FAQ: “Where should I go for flu treatment?”
PhysicianOne Urgent Care, an Affiliate of Yale New Haven Health has hours that extend beyond the normal primary care provider hours and has, on average, significantly shorter wait times than the emergency room, allowing patients to be seen – and begin flu treatment, if appropriate – sooner. Walk in to any PhysicianOne Urgent Care, seven-days per week, for flu treatment.
FAQ: “What does it cost to treat the flu?”
Depending on your healthcare coverage and how quickly you are diagnosed with flu, the cost for flu treatment and to recover from the virus can add up very quickly. Missing just a few days of work for most people is not an option, and can have serious financial implications. The good news is, PhysicianOne Urgent Care has flu shots available at no-cost with most insurances. A flu shot can help prevent the flu, and if you do fall ill from flu after receiving the vaccine, the severity of the virus and symptoms are lessened. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates the following costs and time away from work, school and life in general as a result of the flu:
Time Away From Work/School: 11-73 Hours
ER Visit: $300-$4,000
In addition to prescriptions that treat flu-related complications, a visit to the Emergency Room can leave you with any number of unwanted bills.
FAQ: “Who should get a flu shot?”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the flu vaccine for all people age 6 months and older**. Getting your child vaccinated can reduce flu illnesses, doctor’s visits, missed work and school days, and prevent flu-related hospitalizations and deaths in children. If you have questions about the flu shot and your child, please visit our vaccine page here.
High Risk Populations
It is especially important that those at risk for flu related complications receive the flu vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identifies the following populations as high-risk for flu related complications:
– Children younger than 5 years of age, but especially children ages 7 months – 2 years of age
– Adults 65 years of age and older
– Pregnant women (and women up to two weeks postpartum)
– Those with long-term health conditions including; asthma, chronic lung disease (COPD or cystic fibrosis), blood disorders, heart disease and those with a weakened immune system due to disease (HIV or AIDS) or medication (cancer or those on chronic steroids
The best way to protect yourself from missing out on the life you love – and let’s face it, the things we don’t love but really can’t miss like exam week and work presentations – is to get a flu vaccine at the start of every flu season. While you can contract the flu at any time during the year, the flu season is classified as October – March, when the most cases of flu are reported.
Questions About the Flu Shot? We Have Answers!
Is the flu shot safe?
Yes. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone over the age of 6 months** receive a flu vaccine at the start of each flu season.
When does flu season start?
We see cases of flu all year long, but the flu “season” starts when cases begin to increase, typically by November and lasting through March.
When should I get vaccinated?
The CDC recommends getting vaccinated in the fall, before the end of October. It can take up to two weeks for the antibodies in the vaccine to develop to protect the body from flu, so it is a good idea to get vaccinated early.
CanI get the flu from the vaccine?
No. Most people do not have any side effects from the flu vaccine, but on occasion some may experience mild side effects like a sore arm where the shot was administered, or a low grade fever. These side effects are not symptoms of the flu, and the flu vaccine does not cause the flu. It can take up to two weeks before the antibodies in the vaccine build up to protect you from the flu. If you have been exposed to the flu virus before the vaccine can take effect, you may fall ill with flu. This is why it is so important to make sure you are vaccinated early!
I am allergic to eggs – can I still get the flu vaccine?
If you have an allergy to eggs, it is best to consult your allergist and/or Primary Care Provider before getting vaccinated. However, the CDC does note that those who have experienced only hives after exposure to egg can get “any licensed flu vaccine that is other wise appropriate for their age and health”. You can reference the full CDC information on vaccines and egg allergies here.
*Patients with private insurance will have their flu vaccine billed through their insurance, and there will be no co-pay unless otherwise required by their plan. The cost for a flu shot for uninsured patients is $25. Medicaid (including Husky and CT, NY, and MA state) patients under 19 years of age cannot receive a flu vaccination at PhysicianOne Urgent Care. Please call 1.855.349.2828 with any specific questions.
**In Connecticut, PhysicianOne Urgent Care will only administer the flu vaccine to privately insured patients five (5) years of age and older, due to laws related to the Connecticut Vaccine Program. In Massachusetts and New York, PhysicianOne Urgent Care will only administer the flu vaccine to children three (3) years of age and older.