BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Feb. 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- American Family Care (AFC), the nation's leading provider of urgent care and accessible primary care, is reaffirming the new health advisory by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding the increase of severe flu cases. Doctors say they are seeing a rise in reported flu illnesses at AFC clinics in 26 states. AFC is reminding its 500 in-network physicians of the importance of educating patients on preventative measures – such as hand washing and vaccination – and prompt use of antiviral treatment when influenza is suspected or confirmed. The company is also alerting patients and the general public through social media and other available means.
ABOUT THE CDC FLU WARNING
- CDC: Severe influenza reported
- CDC: H1N1 viruses have predominated in recent weeks
- Clinicians urging all patients who have not received a vaccine yet to be vaccinated
- CDC: rapid antiviral treatment for very ill and high risk
- Medical experts agree vaccination is key to reducing illness/hospitalization
Although influenza tests are generally reliable, they are not a guarantee. Many people who are tested for the influenza virus receive negative test results but wind up actually having the disease. "With more than 160 medical centers in 26 states seeing more than 2 million patients a year, AFC administers flu tests as much or more than any other health care provider outside of the federal government," said Dr. Glenn Harnett, Chief Medical Officer of American Family Care. "Not only are our clinics well-stocked with the rapid influenza diagnostic test, or RIDT, but our physicians and staff are well-trained to quickly identify and treat different variations of the virus."
Influenza antiviral prescription drugs can be used to prevent or treat influenza. Three influenza antiviral medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are recommended for use in the United States during the 2015-2016 influenza season: oral oseltamivir (Tamiflu®), inhaled zanamivir (Relenza®) and intravenous peramivir (Rapivab®). These drugs are chemically related antiviral medications known as neuraminidase inhibitors that have proven effective in treating both influenza A and B viruses.
Flu prevention hotline established for employers
According to researchers at the CDC, up to 111 million workdays are lost because of influenza at an estimated cost of $7 billion per year in sick days and lost productivity. To assist in preventing and responding to the flu in the workplace this season, AFC has established a hotline specifically for organizations interested in mitigating their risk.
AFC Flu Hotline
- (205) 271 - 5037
- Monday - Friday
- 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Central time
"The flu takes a devastating toll on our nation's workforce," Harnett said. "As an industry leader, we have a responsibility to do everything in our power to make a difference – from educating the public, to consulting with employers and beyond. We believe it's simply the right thing to do."
About American Family Care:
Starting with a single location in Alabama in 1982, American Family Care has pioneered the concept of non-emergency room urgent care. With its 2013 acquisition of the Doctors Express franchise, AFC has become the nation's leading provider of urgent care, accessible primary care, and occupational medicine with more than 160 clinics and 500 in-network physicians caring for more than 2 million patients a year. Ranked by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest growing companies in the U.S., AFC's stated mission is to provide the best healthcare possible, in a kind and caring environment, while respecting the rights of all patients, in an economical manner, at times and locations convenient to the patient. For more information, visit www.americanfamilycare.com.
SOURCE American Family Care