What to Do If You Have This Year's Flu

What to Do If You Have This Year's Flu

Updated July 2020

This year, flu season came early – and it’s worse than usual. A new report shows that flu activity is already higher than normal for this time of year and according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control, there is widespread flu activity in 46 states. 

As of now, the flu activity has not reached “epidemic” proportions, but it is close, just 0.2% below the CDC’s threshold. With a particularly cold winter on the horizon, it’s believed that this years’ flu will linger for longer.

Unfortunately, this year’s flu shot has not been as effective as hoped, so even if you received the shot, there is still a chance you could come down with the virus. However, people who have received the shot – thankfully – tend to experience less severe cases.

With this year’s increase in deadly cases of the flu, you must take necessary precautions to keep yourself safe and stop the spread of the flu.

6 Ways to Prevent (or Manage) the Flu 

  1. Know the symptoms: Symptoms for the flu are usually sudden onset. If you experience any combination of the following, see a doctor:
    • Fever
    • Chills
    • Muscle aches
    • Headache
    • “Can’t get out of bed” feeling
    • GI issues/upset stomach
    • Cough/respiratory issues
    • Runny and/or stuffed nose

  2. Get an antiviral: According to the CDC, taking an antiviral within 48 hours of initial symptoms has been proven to be the most effective way to limit the impact once you have then flu.  While these antivirals will not completely kill the illness, they can help significantly. So if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, see a doctor on Amwell for a full diagnosis, and if appropriate, a prescription. 

  3. Have a visit online: Our only option used to be to head to the doctor’s office when you came down with flu-like symptoms, but now we have online doctor visits. Amwell Medical Group's board-certified physicians are available 24/7 and can diagnose and treat the flu online, without having to leave the house.

  4. Get the flu shot: If you haven’t received this year’s flu shot, it’s not too late. You can still reduce your risk of getting the flu by receiving the shot. You can likely get a flu shot at your local pharmacy.

  5. Stay out of hospitals: You may risk getting the flu or making your case more severe by exposing yourself to germs in a hospital. The flu is spread from person to person and can be contracted from up to 6 feet away when someone carrying the virus coughs, sneezes, or speaks.

  6. Don’t spread germs: Sneezing and/or coughing into your elbow and washing your hands are a few quick and easy ways to lower your risk.

We may not be able to cure the flu, but we can prevent its spread. Don’t risk getting the flu or making your case more severe by going to the hospital – if you’re experiencing flu-like symptoms, log on, and have a visit today.

Now is the time to try telemedicine!

Amwell can help you feel better faster. Register now for access to our online doctors 24 hours a day.