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Disease Prevention

When cold and flu season hits, you may be tempted to run to your doctor’s office but chances are your nursing staff would prefer you stay at home and take care of yourself. Understanding your symptoms and when to seek care can help you determine the best path to wellness.

Fever, chills, body ache, congestion, and nausea are all classic flu symptoms. During cold and flu season, the doctor’s office may not be the best place to visit. Nurses agree that these patients are better off at home, resting, hydrating and helping to minimize the spreading of germs.

Still not sure what to do or where to go when flu symptoms strike? Here are four nurse-approved resources when fighting the flu:

Primary Care Provider (PCP)
Your PCP is your main doctor. Call your PCP’s office first and speak with your nurse or doctor. They can give you advice over the phone or determine if it is necessary to set up an appointment.

24/7 Nurse Advice Line
If your doctor’s office is closed, call our free 24-hour Nurse Advice Line. It offers quick, reliable advice for medical situations that aren’t life threatening. Nurses are available to chat with you about your symptoms and provide information on effective home remedies. They can also help you determine if you need to be seen by a doctor.

Urgent Care Center
Urgent Care Centers help patients with illnesses or injuries that aren’t life threatening but can’t wait until the next day. They are staffed with nurses and doctors and can prescribe medication and complete tests to help you on your path to recovery. Urgent Care Centers also typically offer longer office hours.

Flu symptoms an Urgent Care Center can help with include:

  • Normal flu symptoms (if your doctor’s office is closed or the doctor cannot see you for a few days)
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Possible dehydration
  • Improvement of symptoms followed by a high fever (a possible indication of new infection)

Emergency Room
Only go to the ER if your illness or injury is life threatening. Signs that may indicate a need to visit the ER include trouble breathing, difficulty waking up, or other life threatening symptoms. If you see these signs, call 9-1-1 or go directly to the closest ER.

Nurses agree: you CAN help fight the flu

Rest and Recharge
Keep your immune system strong with eight hours of sleep every night.

Get Your Flu Vaccine
Make sure to get your vaccine every year.

Wash Your Hands
Kill germs by washing your hands for 30 seconds with soap and warm water. Do this often!

Use Hand Sanitizer
Stop germs from spreading between washes.

Cover Your Cough
Cough into your elbow instead of your hands and cover your mouth with a face mask.

Flow Chart Image: Flu Symptom Guide - see outline after image

Infographic Description

Title: Flu Symptom Guide: Choose the right care for your child's symptoms

  1. Does your child have normal symptoms of the flu such as:
    • Fever
    • Sore Throat
    • Runny/stuffy nose
    • Cough
    • Chills
    • If Yes, do you want to see a doctor?
      1. If Yes, is your child's doctor's office open?
        1. If Yes, call your child's doctor. 
      2. If No, Go to Urgent Care or call our 24/7 Nurse Advice Line.
    • If Yes, do you want to call a nurse for advice?
      1. If yes, call our 24/7 Nurse Advice Line.
  2. Does your child have severe symptoms of the flu such as:
    • Severe or persistent vomiting
    • Possible dehydration
    • Improvement of symptoms followed by a high fever (a possible indication of new infection)
    • If yes, go to Urgent Care.