Falling leaves and dropping temperatures signal the start of flu season. That means it’s time to look for fever, chills, headache and severe cold-like symptoms that may keep you in bed. Most of us know what to do when we get the flu: drink plenty of liquids, avoid alcohol or caffeine and get plenty of rest. 

This year, think prevention. For those who are uninsured or underinsured, that’s not always easy. Visiting the doctor to make sure your health is on track can take a big bite out of your budget. Fortunately, you’ve got options.

Put a stop to the flu

In the meantime, protect yourself from flu viruses by following these five simple tips:

1.     Get a flu shot – The most important step in protecting against flu viruses.

2.     Practice good hygiene – Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.

3.     Wash your hands – Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 60 seconds.

4.     Sanitize – Clean and sanitize common areas in the home and office, such as countertops, keyboards, door handles and other items frequently used by more than one person.

5.     Sign up for an online healthcare service– Services like Hello Alvin, which offers mobile healthcare services, can cost significantly less for an entire year than just one visit to an ER or Urgent Care.

Regardless of insurance status, many online healthcare services connect users directly to medical care, including access to a Board Certified physician, licensed in the State they are in so a prescription can be written, if needed.  Some services include access to additional benefits, like a 24/7 nurse advice lines and a 24/7 email services that allow subscribers to email questions to a variety of healthcare provider.

It’s not just for the flu. Dozens of routine minor illnesses can be treated through this technology.  In fact, the Teladoc service sees more than 1 million patients every year with more than 92% of cases resolved on the first visit.

The next time a family member isn’t feeling well, don’t pick up the car keys – pick up the phone.


Arif Razvi is co-founder of Hello Alvin.