PhysicianOne Urgent Care offers rapid flu testing, as flu cases are on the rise in Connecticut and Massachusetts
Flu season began early in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York, with already 1,200 laboratory confirmed cases of the flu reported to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health since the start of October, compared with the 300 cases reported last year at this time. Connecticut has seen 1,015 laboratory confirmed cases since August, and New York state saw nearly 4,000 laboratory-confirmed influenza reports just last week.
Besides receiving a flu shot, what can locals do to protect themselves from the 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,” said 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.”
Influenza usually causes a number of unpleasant symptoms, including cough, stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, fever, chills, headaches, body aches, and fatigue.
“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,” said 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,” said Dr. Kenkare.
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 treatment, if appropriate – sooner.