Strep, Flu, and Pneumonia Have Health Care Providers Running Hard

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Colorado's health care community working long hours.

Colorado's healthcare community has been working long hours to keep up with Colorado's surge in cases of strep, flu, and pneumonia. Volume at AfterOurs Urgent Care has at least doubled, according to AfterOurs' Executive Director, Chris Rehm. "We've seen an increase in the number of referrals we receive from physician offices and local hospitals, who are simply unable to accommodate the influx. Unfortunately, even door to door times at our clinics, which are usually less than an hour, have increased significantly."

A cold snap, forcing people indoors, and a rapidly mutating flu virus, which has become increasingly resistant to vaccination have attributed to the high volume of people seeking medical treatment. Health care professionals are offering advice on how to reduce your chances of becoming ill. "Wash your hands frequently, don't share food or drink, cough into your sleeve, rather than your hand, get vaccinated, and drink plenty of fluids," advises Charity Fletcher, a Clinical Coordinator for AfterOurs Urgent Care.

If you do become ill, be sure to access the appropriate place of service for your health care needs, which will reduce your wait times and out of pocket medical expenses. Consult a primary care physician before heading to the emergency room. If you're uninsured or haven't designated a primary care provider, visit a local urgent care center. Urgent care centers typically offer hours beyond those of physicians and one local urgent care center offers hours as late as 1 am in the Denver Area. Lastly, visit a local emergency room. It's important for emergency rooms to be available for life and limb threatening cases, the primary reason they exist.

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Jennifer Rehm
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