Those still putting off their H1N1 and seasonal flu shots might want to rethink their ignore-the-flu-and-it-won’t-happen strategy. According to family physicians, there has been a 78% increase in flu-symptoms among patients. The flu can be easily transmitted — touch the wrong doorknob or inhale the wrong type of air and you might get sick.

Family doctors are responding to this call. A survey of 462 physicians conducted by the American Academy of Family Physicians, (AAFP) found that 92 percent of them have educated their patients on H1N1 flu prevention. Another 84 percent reviewed the medical records of their patients to identify and inform those most at-risk.

“As community-based physicians caring for the entire family, family doctors are on the front line in combating the H1N1 pandemic,” said Lori Heim, MD, AAFP president. “Physicians are staying up to date on the current clinical recommendations, working with their patients to promote behaviors that will limit the spread of the virus and are also adapting how they operate their practices this flu season.”

Here are some tips from the AAFP to prevent and treat H1N1 or seasonal flu.

* Get your flu shots. Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself against seasonal and H1N1 flu. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, H1N1 vaccination is particularly important for children six months to 24 years old, child care providers and pregnant women, as well as medical personnel and people with compromised immune systems.

* Stay healthy. Avoid touching your nose, eyes, and mouth. Consume foods high in vitamin C such as citrus, strawberries and broccoli. Vitamin D can also be found in cereals, fortified dairy and fish. Get enough sleep and exercise to keep your immune system working at its best.

* Know when to seek medical attention. While not all flu-like symptoms require medical attention, there are some cases where the patient may need to be treated with antiviral medication or medical care.

If children have trouble breathing or bluish skin, rapid or troublesome breathing, inability to swallow fluids, irritability, fever, rash, or other symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.

Adults who experience difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, pain in the abdomen or chest, dizziness, confusion, severe or persistent vomiting, or any other symptoms should immediately see a doctor.

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Today’s life is very fast. The rise of digital technology has allowed people to communicate with each other via the internet and simultaneously check their children’s soccer scores. Consumers can expect the same conveniences and benefits from all businesses, except their insurance companies, thanks to the internet age. Although 98 per cent of insurance claims are processed within 30 working days, it can be frustrating for those who have difficulty paying their medical bills.

It’s not enough to simply be insured when nearly two-thirds American households make less than 2002. It is important to find out how fast and easy your insurance company processes and pays claims. This is critical for both financial recovery and physical recovery.

Recent research found that 66% would not be able to adjust to the high financial cost of serious illnesses or injuries. Only 49% of workers have over $1,000 to pay out-of-pocket costs. Additionally, rising healthcare costs have forced employers to take cost-saving measures that are putting employees under greater financial pressure.

* Increasing employees’ health care insurance copayments.

* Increasing employees’ share of premium.

* Implementing high-deductible health plans with health savings accounts.

A lot of people will have to wait for up to a few months before receiving their insurance payments. Many insurance companies are able to provide customers with fast service thanks to modern technology and better understanding of their needs. This is one example. AflacIt is almost rare for insurance companies to offer policies that include claims processing, approval, and payment in a single day.

Fast payment policies are no longer luxury items of the past. It’s a necessity. It is vital to have funds readily available for serious illness or injury. Your insurance company should be able to respond quickly.

Aflac’s One Day Pay guarantee can be found on