What you need to know about the flu

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – You’ve probably seen recent headlines about influenza outbreaks across the country. The Centers for Disease Control reports that flu is now widespread throughout Michigan.

Doctors at Spectrum Health are urging people who are experiencing flu-like symptoms to use a video visit instead of making a trip to the emergency room or urgent care. Video visits, such as MedNow provided through Spectrum Health, are quickly gaining popularity. MedNow recently hit an all-time high for seeing patients — 100 people used the telehealth program in one day, compared to the normal 70 to 80 people a day.

>>> Learn more in the video above.

MedNow is a telehealth program through Spectrum Health. A cellphone or computer with a webcam is needed to take part in a video visit. Once your visit is scheduled, an email will be sent with instructions on how to connect online.

Patients who use the video visit MedNow will never pay more than $45 for a visit, if your insurance doesn’t already cover the cost. Suing said another plus to the online visit is that it doesn’t take long to schedule an appointment.

Once the patient is connected to a medical professional, a conversation is had regarding symptoms. Next comes a physical examination. The medical professional will walk the patient through a self-examination. A few examples of testing for the flu include tugging on ears checking for pain, checking sinuses, enlarged lymph nodes, grabbing a flashlight and holding it up to your mouth to show your throat.

Prescriptions for the flu can be provided through a video visit, if needed.

What should someone do if they think they have the flu?

  • Stay home and avoid contact with others
  • Mild cases can be treated with over-the-counter medications
  • See a health care provider for more serious cases