Diagnosing & Treating the Flu Online

The flu, otherwise known as influenza, is one of the most common conditions doctors on TelaCare treat. Since the flu is highly contagious, it is beneficial for patients with the flu talk to a board-certified medical provider from home as it prevents further spreading of germs. 

During a video consult on TelaCare your doctor will ask you a series of targeted questions to determine if your symptoms point to flu. Then your provider will proceed to determine the best treatment plan for you. Your provider may recommend in-person examination by a specialist if this is needed. Your treatment plan is based on the duration and severity of your symptoms and your medical history.

Once a diagnosis has been made, your doctor will go over the risks and benefits of the various treatment plans. Depending on the cause and severity of the illness, your treatment plan for the flu may include:

  • Home treatment options, such as bed rest and increased fluid intake
  • A recommendation of over the counter (OTC) medications or vitamin supplements
  • A prescription for antiviral medication

Note: To assess the severity of your infection the doctor may ask for your temperature, if possible it would be best to take your temperature before starting the call.

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Got Questions? We've got answers.

See below for answers to some of our most common questions. You can also call us anytime 24 hours a day at 1-800-317-0280 to speak to a medical professional about your symptoms or conditions.



 When should you call a doctor online?

Don’t wait weeks for an appointment. Our doctors, therapists, and specialists can help you with the flu, infections, anxiety, stress, skin conditions, and provide advice on medical conditions. No matter what you're facing, we’re available from wherever you are by phone, video, or app. You should call a doctor if any of the following occur:

  • Vomiting that lasts for longer than 1 day
  • Fever or severe diarrhea that lasts more than 2 days
  • Sudden, severe abdominal pain
  • Vomit or diarrhea turns bloody or tarry

 Is bronchitis contagious?

Chronic bronchitis isn't contagious, but it's a serious health problem that requires a doctor's care. Acute bronchitis, which can last for 1 to 3 weeks, is usually caused by cold or flu viruses. Since these viruses are contagious, acute bronchitis usually is, too.

 What is an online doctor visit?

TelaCare is an affordable, convenient way to resolve routine medical conditions. Our unique, secure, technology makes it possible to see a doctor, face to face, without you having to leave your home on your smartphone, desktop or telephone. With video, providers can look, listen and engage with you to diagnose your health concerns and provide an effective treatment plan.

 How long does the flu last?

The flu typically lasts about one to two weeks. Severe symptoms will usually set in after two or three days. Symptoms of weakness, dry cough and fatigue can linger for three to seven days.


 How long is flu contagious?

Most of the time, the flu will be contagious for about 24 to 72 hours after you have come in contact with the virus. It is possible for you to remain contagious for up to five days after onset of symptoms.

 What should you eat when you have the flu?

To soothe your throat when it’s sore or dry, you can try ice pops, chicken soup, hot tea, etc. A turkey sandwich is a great source of lean protein which will give your body energy to fight illness. Bananas are easy on the stomach with and they can help with nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

 Is my online doctor visit private and secure?

Yes, we feel it is of utmost importance to maintain patient privacy and keep information secure. TelaCare is designed to be a private, secure, HIPAA-compliant tool that allows you to safely and confidentially consult with a doctor online.


 Can I get a prescription online?

Yes, in general you can get a prescription online. There is support for this nationwide, however there are several exceptions. 


 Can medical forms like sick slips or doctors notes be provided?

Doctors on TelaCare are able to provide simple forms like sick slips or back to work/school documents as clinically appropriate. Be sure to request the documentation before ending your conversation. Please note that doctors on TelaCare are not able to provide more substantial documents like FMLA forms, disability forms or handicap/DMV documents as these documents require in in-person evaluation.

 What’s the difference between the flu vs cold?

The flu and the common cold are both respiratory illnesses caused by viral infections. Colds are typically milder than the flu. A cold can make you feel ill for a few days, while flu symptoms can make you feel ill for weeks. The flu can also lead to more serious health problems like pneumonia. If you are coming down with a cold, your symptoms will typically begin with a sore throat and other symptoms like runny nose, congestion and cough will most likely follow a sore throat. Flu symptoms are very similar to those of a cold, but they are usually more severe and come on very quickly.

 I cannot login to my account what do I do?

If you cannot access your account first, make sure you have REGISTERED YOUR ACCOUNT. If you still cannot sign in then use the FORGOT PASSWORD to get a new password. Please make sure to check your spam/junk folders as sometimes our emails maybe caught in them. If you still cannot get into your account please email support@telacare.com and our support staff will assist you.

 Do I need to create an account to see a doctor on TelaCare?

Yes, you do need to create an account before you can speak to a doctor on TelaCare. The account creation process is simple and takes just a few moments. We recommend you set up your account now so it’s ready when you need it. Once your account is created, you can use the mobile app or website using the same username and password.

 What is TelaCare not for?

TelaCare is not for people suffering from serious or life threatening conditions, such as:

    • Seizures
    • Chest pain
    • Neurological symptoms, suggesting a stroke
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Dizziness or loss of consciousness
    • Sudden bleeding
    • Choking or gagging
    • Severe Hypertension or Hemorrhoids
    • Head injury
    • Possible broken bones
    • Cancer
    • Patients who want to hurt themselves (suicidality)
    • Patients who want to hurt others (homicidality)
    • Schizophrenia or hallucinations

    If you have any of the above symptoms or any other serious medical concerns please call 911 or proceed to the nearest emergency department.

     Can a doctor on TelaCare order a prescription refill?

    Doctors on TelaCare will discuss your health history and assess whether a refill is safe at this time or whether it would be necessary to see your primary care physician in person. The decision to provide a refill and the quantity is at the sole discretion of the doctor. Be sure to share any information you have about your health history and condition that may help facilitate your refill, such as recent lab tests or blood pressure readings.

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