Due to the serious nature of this flu season, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin is placing a temporary visitor restriction at both their Milwaukee and Fox Valley (Neenah) hospitals.  The same now goes for the entire ThedaCare system as well. 

Children under the age of 12 are not allowed to visit patients at any of those listed hospitals. Outpatient appointments are not included in this restriction, according to their Website. 

This restriction will be lifted as soon as possible and will be assessed regularly as new information about the flu season becomes available.

Flu numbers in Wisconsin have spiked in the past month and a half.  Doctors at ThedaCare say the flu season this year is as bad as the H1N1 outbreak in 2009, and this flu season is not over just yet.

“We see this nationwide, and even just locally our hospitals are reaching capacity almost everyday,” said Dr. Joshua Block, a Family Doctor at a ThedaCare clinic in Darboy.  “People get pounding headaches, the get really bad tiredness, fatigue, muscle aches, they’re just so drianed.”

That’s why the Center for Disease Control recommends not to leave you house if you are showing signs or symptoms of the flu.

Instead, ThedaCare is offering another option to receive care. E-visits right from home.

“I was in my pajamas by my computer, so I didn’t have to change and go out in the weather,” said Jill Nettekoven, who took advantage of the E-visits when she fell i’ll with influenza and pink eye. “I felt much better not exposing anybody else.”

Dr. Block says patients get rapid response, within an hour or two after submitting an electronic visit.

Here’s how it works:  Patients fill out a 5-10 minute questionnaire and send it in, then a physician will review your medical chart, email back results, and even prescribe medicine if necessary.

You can learn more about E-visits with ThedaCare by clicking here.

Electronic visits are not just good for the flu, there are about 24 different conditions doctors can treat.

Dr. Block also added he can get 3 or 4 E-visits done in the time it takes one patient in the exam room.  This means time is saved for both parties.

“Lower costs, convenience, and you’re not exposing other people so the community stays healthier, too,” Dr. Block said.

The cost for an E-visit is roughly $35.  

ThedaCare says 330 patients tried the electronic visit from home last month, which is up 20 percent from last year.