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Know the dos and don'ts of the flu

Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

"I'm a big healthy guy, and I don't usually get sick."

This winter, though, 45-year-old Travis Rinnert had to see his doctor after the symptoms became unbearable.

"I was real weak, tired, congested, sore throat, and then the fever started," the fitness enthusiast recalled.

"The ideal place for you to get care is your primary care provider. They already know you," explained Dr. Amy Russell, of Mission Health Family Medicine Glenwood. "They know your medical history, and sometimes that's important in your treatment."

That's exactly what Rinnert did.

But, too many people with the flu aren't and are spreading germs despite masks and hand sanitizers.

Here's what health officials don't want: someone with the flu showing up in the emergency department and making someone with a real emergency -- such as a heart ailment or broken bone -- sicker from the flu.

The Mission Health Virtual Clinic allows patients -- even without a primary care physician or insurance -- to log onto a portal, describe their symptoms and potentially get a prescription without ever leaving home and exposing anyone.

"It's only a $25 payment, so it's really an affordable way to get care for many people," Russell said.

As for Rinnert, he took Tamiflu and loaded up on liquids.

"I'm doing good," he said. "I've still got a little bit of a cough lingering, but all my symptoms other than that have subsided."

If only the flu season as a whole would subside.

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