Altru opens influenza hotline

Staff Writer
Devils Lake Journal
Is it the flu or a cold?

Altru now offers a dedicated phone line, 701-780-6FLU (6358) for patients concerned with flu-like symptoms to seek advice. 

This includes residents from Devils Lake and the Lake Region.

The influenza phone line offers patients direct access to appropriate medical advice from the comfort of home. The team will help patients understand if they should come for a visit or if there are self-care tips we can provide for symptom management.

While this flu hotline is an additional offering, the existing After Hours Nurse Line (701-780-5000) will continue to be available. If you are not sure if you should go to urgent care, make a doctor’s appointment or use self-care and your provider’s office is closed, call 701-780-5000 and ask for the After Hours Nurse Line.

Flu vs. Cold

Influenza (commonly called the flu) is an infection of the nose, throat and lungs. It’s caused by an influenza virus and spreads easily. Flu symptoms will often start quickly, usually within 2–3 days of contracting the virus. Listed in the boxes (photo) are differences between the flu and a cold.

Influenza Vaccination Still Available

Vaccination for influenza (flu shot) is still available. Altru urges that even if people have experienced flu-like symptoms, they are still recommended to get the vaccine. “Getting the flu shot is one of the best ways to protect yourself from the flu,” shares Dr. Joshua Deere, medical director of primary care and family medicine provider. “While this year’s vaccine may not be formulated for all strains of influenza, it may lessen the severity and duration of the illness.” Other precautions to prevent the spread of flu include washing your hands regularly, covering your cough, and staying home if you are sick.

Influenza vaccinations are available, by appointment, at any Altru Clinic. Please call your provider’s office for appointment.

About Altru Health System

Altru Health System is a regional-owned, integrated system with a general acute care hospital, a specialty hospital, more than a dozen clinics in Grand Forks and the region, and a large home care network. It employs nearly 200 physicians and 4,000 staff and has an annual net operating revenue of more than $549 million. As the first member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, Altru’s providers have access to clinically integrated tools extending Mayo Clinic’s knowledge and expertise to patients.