Influenza and other respiratory viruses cause annual outbreaks of respiratory illness, with most occurring late November through April. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are approximately 12 million (range 4.3 to 21 million) excess clinic visits, 250,000 excess hospitalizations (range 140,000 to 810,000) and 35,000 excess deaths (range 12,000 to 61,000) directly attributed to influenza each year. We expect the similar trends at our urgent care flu symptoms in Buffalo Grove, IL.
During peak flu season, the healthcare industry sees an increase in clinic visits and hospitalizations. Thankfully, many of the interventions that are currently being leveraged for COVID-19 — mask use, physical distancing and hand hygiene — also work to prevent influenza and other respiratory viruses. According to a report✎ EditSign from the Australian Government Department of Health, cases of influenza in the Southern Hemisphere are at record lows. If we maintain social distancing, mask use and drive influenza vaccine rates higher, we can hope to mitigate the potential for a severe Covid-19 resurgence as Coronavirus co-circulates with other respiratory viruses. By maintaining all these guidelines, our primary care clinic is ready for covid 19 in Arlington Heights, IL.
Testing remains a critical component to differentiate influenza, SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory viruses. Differentiating influenza from SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory viruses can be difficult based on clinical presentation. Therefore, diagnostic testing will be required to definitively differentiate the various viruses.
Epic Urgent & Family Care’s preparedness for 2020-21 FLU season:
- Get vaccinated — Flu vaccine will be available from mid-September
- Nasal swab for Covid-19 PCR and standard on-site FLU test is available at present
- Abbott ID Now rapid test for Covid-19 and Influenza will be available from early October
- Gold standard PCR testing can be performed for various respiratory pathogen in single swab
- Testing tent in back parking lot
- Preparing clinic for inside testing during winter season (separate entrance for patients with Flu like symptoms)
- Offering Telemedicine visit with contactless registration