ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The flu continues to be an epidemic across the country and the state.
The Department of Health showing 1,800 people have been hospitalized in the past week statewide.
Now, there are ways you can get care without even leaving your home.
Local hospitals report seeing an uptick in flu cases with some in the Capital Region reporting more than a dozen tests a day. That’s double the amount of a normal flu season.
You don’t have to go to the emergency room or even your primary physician if you think you may be sick.
“We do it by leveraging technology 24/7 365.”
Keith Algozzine runs United Concierge Medicine (UCM), a company that provides virtual care to patients.
“Really there are no barriers that stop us from taking care of people.”
The process is really simple, download the app called UCMnow, enter some patient information, then you’re good to go.
“You can describe what’s going on and we can have a consult this way.”
UCM serves 100,000 patients in the Capital Region.
Algozzine says if you really are sick with the flu, a virtual option can be a much better option.
“You really want to avoid being around crowds. And where are the crowds? They’re in the ERs they’re in the urgent cares that’s where the illness can get spread.”
Pharmacist John McDonald welcomes this type of care.
“Convenience is the key. We want to take down all the barriers possible.”
He says virtual care, along with the new executive order that allows pharmacists to give flu shots to those two years old to 18 can help reduce the flu this season.
“Pharmacists, pharmacies are very accessible. They have much longer hours you don’t need to make an appointment.”
Through an app like UMCnow, you can get your diagnosis quickly and even pick up a prescription at your local pharmacy without spreading or getting the flu.
Flu cases continue to rise weekly and it’s not too late to get the flu shot if you haven’t already.