Bronchitis, Pneumonia, and the Flu: What’s the Difference?

‘Tis the season.

 No, we’re not talking about spreading holiday cheer for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any other winter holidays. We’re talking about the season of spreading nasty germs that can make you sick for weeks. More specifically, the flu, pneumonia, and bronchitis are the common illnesses to watch out for this time of year. Cute girl blowing her noseHere are some things you should know… 

Flu season usually peaks between December and February but can last as late as May. As long as flu viruses are spreading, it’s not too late to get a flu vaccine

What most people don’t know, however, is that there is another useful vaccine that can help protect you from a common illness this time of year—the pneumonia vaccine. The good news is that it’s only needed once every five years and can prevent minor illnesses from progressing into stronger attacks on your immune system.

In severe cases of bronchitis and the flu, persisting symptoms can lead to pneumonia.

The flu, bronchitis, and pneumonia can leave you miserable and bed-ridden for days. But how do you know which illness is the cause of your woes? Here’s a list of the key symptoms and warning signs of each condition that mean you should get to your doctor as soon as possible!

Influenza

  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Watery discharge from the nasal passages
  • High fever: 102°F–106°F
  • Achy joints and muscles
  • Mild to moderate chest discomfort

 Acute bronchitis

  • No fever
  • Chest tightness, shortness of breath, or wheezing
  • Starts with a dry cough and, a few days later, turns into a wet cough bringing up thick clear, yellow, or green mucus from the lungs

Pneumonia

  • A cough that produces mucus. The mucus may appear green, yellow, or a rusty, blood-like color.
  • A high fever, usually above 101°F
  • Labored, fast breathing and chest pain
  • Headache
  • Achy muscles
  • Fast heart rate
  • Chills

If you need help affording medications prescribed for bronchitis, pneumonia, the flu or other health issues, download a free Watertree Health Prescription Discount Card or request a card be mailed to you. It provides significant discounts on almost all recommended medications (brand and generic). Most experts agree, taking your medicines as prescribed improves overall health and wellbeing and lowers cost of health care for everyone. 

By WHBlogger 
12/22/2014 

Instructions and Disclaimer: The content on this website is designed for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses. Always consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your health. 

Tell us if this was helpful and let us know what other topics you might like to see us cover in our blog.

 

Have Insurance but Your Coverage Changed?

By: Shane Power, President of Watertree Health


A recent article by David Lazarus published in The Los Angeles Times discussed a growing epidemic in the United States—insurers dropping certain prescription medications from 6679875_lcoverage by their plans. Often drugs are dropped without advanced warning, leaving patients scrambling to find a way to obtain, and pay for, the medications that their physician has prescribed. 

Even with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), insurers are not required to cover many commonly prescribed cholesterol-lowering statins, anti-depressants and other medications. Companies can add and subtract medicines at will.  With 7 out of 10 Americans requiring at least one prescription medication, the need for available and affordable prescriptions is enormous. 

As President of Watertree Health, I hear from consumers all over the country, many with employer-provided prescription benefits, who are faced with the same harsh financial reality as someone without any insurance—how am I going to pay for my medicine?  Some consumers resort to the dangerous practice of rationing prescriptions. Others seek them out on the Internet and from other countries, where fakes abound. 

The Los Angeles Times also reported that the prices of medical supplies, such as diabetic-testing materials, catheters and orthopedic devices, could vary dramatically by insurer.  Additionally, not all plans are even required to cover these supplies that millions of people in America rely on every day. 

The Watertree Health Prescription Discount Card helps fill in critical gaps in health insurance plans being purchased by people across the country. It helps alleviate some of the financial burden for those with insurance when their medications or medical supplies are no longer covered—helping to improve the cycle of health for millions of people.

 

Give a Meal This Holiday Season

What is food insecurity? The government uses this term broadly to refer to hunger and the coping mechanisms that households use to avoid going hungry. According to FeedingAmerica.org, in 2013, 49.1 million Americans lived in food insecure households, including 33.3 million adults and 15.8 million children. Research shows that food insecurity tends to be episodic and often cyclical. 

food bank

Photo courtesy of Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma City

During this holiday season, you can help break the cycle of food insecure households and help put meals on tables by simply filling your prescriptions.

Watertree Health® and 15 regional Food Banks have a one-of-a-kind program that helps people save money on prescription costs while providing more meals in their local communities. Through this program, Watertree Health makes a donation to your local Food Bank for every prescription discounted using the FREE Prescription Discount Card benefitting that organization. (See list below).  

The foundation of this partnership is the mutually held belief that no one should have to choose between vital medications and basic necessities such as food. This holiday season, we encourage you to help feed your local community with two simple steps: First, use your Prescription Discount Card benefitting your local Food Bank to help make a donation every time you save on your medicines. In some regions, filling as few as 4 prescriptions equals three meals. Secondly, take a look through your pantry for canned and dry goods to donate–even a few items can make a difference. To find your local Food Bank, click here

Here are some relevant facts:

  1. According to DoSomething.org, more than 1 in 5 children is at risk of hunger. Among African-Americans and Latinos, it’s 1 in 3.
  2. Center for American Progress reports, “Food insecurity and hunger…harm the U.S. economy, hinder educational advancement, and increase health care spending.”

You can help your local Food Bank provide meals and get significant savings on your prescriptions, by going to the web address noted below and downloading a card or having one mailed, emailed or texted to you. 

By WHBlogger 
12/11/2014 

Instructions and Disclaimer: The content on this website is designed for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses. Always consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your health. 

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Make-A-Wish® & Watertree Health® Granting Wishes This Holiday Season and Beyond

This time of year, most children are busy writing wish lists to the North Pole and looking forward to winter break from school. They’ll spend the coming weeks enjoying holiday meals with their families, decorating the house, and maybe even playing in the snow.

For children who have been diagnosed with life-threatening medical conditions, the holidays can be much different. This season, they’ll be subjected to endless doctor appointments involving a battery of tests, injections, x-rays, scans, and scary treatments such as chemotherapy and surgery. Even so, these brave young patients hold on to the holiday spirit and their most sought-after wishes.

Chris in uniform

Christopher, age 7, Smiling in his official police uniform

That’s where Make-A-Wish comes in. 

Make-A-Wish has been granting wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses at Christmas and all year round for nearly 35 years. It all began in 1980 when Chris, a 7-year-old leukemia patient, wished to be a police officer and wanted so desperately to “help catch bad guys.” Volunteers and a generous, caring community took action to make this little boy’s wish come true. Granting Chris’ wish was so successful that it sparked the start of the Make-A-Wish organization and a cascade of more than 250,000 granted wishes in the United States.

Since the day of that first wish, the charity’s efforts have impacted families across the world. A recent study by Make-A-Wish shows that children who’ve been granted their one true wish “feel stronger, more energetic, more willing and able to battle the fight against their illnesses.”

Throughout the past year, we at Watertree Health have been supporting Make-A-Wish and all of the joy it brings to wish kids. With the guidance of our President Shane Power, Watertree Health has become dedicated to aligning the two organizations in mission and purpose. As we continue to seek to improve people’s health by offering access to affordable prescription medications, Make-A-Wish is improving the health and wellbeing of young children and families by offering trips, experiences, and adventures that would have otherwise been impossible.

At the end of last year, Watertree Health launched a pilot program in three local Make-A-Wish chapters: Arizona, Central & Northern Florida and Nebraska. Each time a prescription is discounted using the card benefitting Make-A-Wish, 50-cents is donated to the organization. By doing nothing more than saving money on their prescriptions, people are helping to grant children’s wishes. Over the past year, Watertree Health has donated more than $90,000 to the three pilot Make-A-Wish chapters; because of the success of this initial program, we have now expanded to form a national alliance with Make-A-Wish. 

make a wish arizona

Elizabeth, 16, Cancer, “I wish to go to Hawaii”, Make-A-Wish Arizona

President Shane Power speaks for everyone associated with Watertree Health when he says, “We understand that it’s not just medicine that helps these wonderful children, it’s a positive outlook that gives them the courage to get better.  This larger sponsorship will help ensure more funds are allotted to help make more wishes come true.”

Make-A-Wish began because of one child’s wish. Now, on average, they deliver a wish every 37 minutes changing a child’s life forever. But they cannot fulfill their mission without the generous support of caring organizations, individuals, and communities. During this season of giving, we encourage you to include Make-A-Wish on your holiday shopping list. The organization needs financial support, hotel points, and frequent flier miles to help make wishes come true. But perhaps the easiest way to help is by downloading the prescription discount card benefitting Make-A-Wish at www.watertreehealthcard.com/wish or requesting one be texted, mailed or emailed to you. You can also text WISH to 95577 or email wish@WatertreeHealth.com

To make a direct donation, visit the Make-A-Wish website or contact your local chapter for additional information. For more information about Make-A-Wish, go to wish.org

Click the image below to get your card today.

Prescription Discount Card, Make-A-Wish

By WHBlogger 
12/19/2014 

Instructions and Disclaimer: The content on this website is designed for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses. Always consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your health. 

Tell us if this was helpful and let us know what other topics you might like to see us cover in our blog.