There you are, going about your day and feeling fine. The next thing you know, you are hit with high fever, muscle aches, headache and persistent cough. This may be the flu, a nasty mix of sudden-onset symptoms that are not only unpleasant, but often highly contagious.
In fact, this year’s flu season is one of the worst in years. U.S. health officials have said the season is on track to be one of the most severe since the 2014/2015 pandemic, when 34 million people were infected and 710,000 were hospitalized. So far this season, nearly 7 percent of doctor visits are related to flu-like symptoms.
Doctor’s orders: Stay home.
Checking in with a doctor when you have the flu may be a good idea, but spending time in a doctor’s office may not be the best plan. Not only would you have to drag yourself out of bed when you’re feeling terrible, but also there’s the possibility that you’ll spread flu germs around. Your doctor may recommend you stay home.
Virtual doctor visits.
If you suspect you have the flu, you may be a good candidate for a virtual doctor visit, which means that you connect securely with a healthcare professional through your computer or phone. UnitedHealthcare members are taking advantage of this care option. Virtual doctor visits through your health plan can cost less than an in-person doctor visit, and independent telehealth services usually charge between $50 to $75 per visit without insurance.
If you’re experiencing flu-like symptoms, to get them checked out right away. Click here to learn more about what you need to know before your first virtual doctor visit.