Facebook29Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Providence Medical GroupMore and more case of the flu are being reported throughout Southwest Washington. Media outlets have reported that emergency departments are seeing high volumes this winter.If you think you have the flu:Stay home: Having the flu is no fun, but it’s very contagiousContact your primary care provider: Your provider can offer tips and help you decide next stepsIf you can’t contact your primary care provider, try a virtual health visit: An online service such as Providence ExpressCare Virtual can help answer questions, fill prescriptions and help you decide next stepsGo to an ExpressCare or immediate care clinicHere is Southwest Washington, Providence would like to remind the community about local options:Express Care VirtualProvidence Express Care Virtual is a telemedicine service that provides $49 online visits for minor illnesses right on your smartphone, tablet or computer. No appointment needed.Express Care Virtual allows you to have a live, on-demand video visit with one of our doctors or nurse practitioners from your computer, smartphone or tablet. Virtual visits are an easy, convenient way to get a diagnosis and treatment recommendation, including a prescription, if needed. Wait times average less than five minutes.This service is ideal for many common health conditions, including:Providence Express Care Virtual allows you have an online doctor’s appointment from the comfort of your computer, tablet or smartphone. No appointment is needed. Photo courtesy: Providence Medical GroupSinus, ear or eye infectionsCough, cold and fluRash and joint issuesPrescription refillsExpressCare – Lacey MarketplaceProvidence recently opened its first ExpressCare clinic in Southwest Washington. Located at 1350 Marvin Road SE in Suite D of the Lacey Marketplace, Providence ExpressCare is open for walk-ins or appointments 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week.ExpressCare provides treat common conditions as well as screenings and tests. If you need additional care, we can refer you to one of our primary care physicians. Our qualified caregivers can test for common infections and test for as well as screenings and tests. Your medical record is accessible to all of our providers to ensure consistency and quality of care.Immediate CareImmediate Care clinics in Southwest Washington include:Lacey Immediate Care: 4800 College St. SE, 360-486-2900Open Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m.-7:30 p.m.; weekends 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.West Olympia Immediate Care: 1620 Cooper Point Road SW (360-486-6710)Open Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.; weekends 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.Hawks Prairie Immediate Care: 2555 Marvin Road NE (360-493-445).Open Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m.-7:30 p.m.; weekends 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.What is Immediate Care?Immediate Care clinics (also known as urgent care) can help with non-life threatening medical issues for infants, children and adults that could become worse if not treated immediately. It’s a good option if your primary care provider is not available. The Immediate Care Clinic can take patients on a walk-in basis – no appointment scheduling is necessary.The clinic offers care for a variety of issues, including:IllnessesBone, joint or muscle complaintsCuts, puncture wounds, burns, foreign bodies, abscessesWork-related injuries such as back strain, minor bruises and minor cuts (new claims)Services such IV hydration, IV antibiotics and splintingX-rays and diagnostic imagingLab tests for strep throat and fluTips for Avoiding the FluThe single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year, but good health habits like covering your cough and washing your hands often can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like the flu. Here are six tips from the CDC:Avoid close contact.Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.Stay home when you are sick.If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others.Cover your mouth and nose.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.Clean your hands. Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.Practice other good health habits.Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.If you experience a life-threatening injury or illness at any time, call 911 immediately or visit the nearest hospital emergency room.