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Meritus Health experts: flu tests not needed in most cases

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HAGERSTOWN, Md. – Meritus Health is encouraging patients to seek the appropriate level of care for seasonal illnesses as the health system is experiencing very high volumes of patients presenting with influenza-like systems.

“Our teams at all levels of our health system are here to help support the needs of our community,” said Dr. Aaron George, chief medical officer. “We have a major increase in illness at Meritus Medical Center, Meritus Urgent Care and community clinics due to the flu and multiple viral illnesses.”

In most instances, a flu test is not needed. For those not at high risk for complications, flu like symptoms of fever and cough typically respond well to fluids, rest and time, according to Dr. George.

A common influenza treatment, Tamiflu, is on national back order. If your provider recommends this medication, local retail pharmacies may have limited or no supplies available.

Meritus Medical Laboratory locations have testing ability with an order from your provider. Locations and laboratory hours can be found at MeritusHealth.com/Lab.

Dr. George asks that patients consider their symptoms and select a Meritus Health appointment that will best serve their needs.

“MeritusNow is a great opportunity for virtual care,” he said. “Often patients have questions related to their symptoms, but are not experiencing a medical emergency. We are committed to providing options for our community to help provide access to the right level of care at the right time.”

More information on the care options available can be found at MeritusHealth.com/Icky.