MINNEAPOLIS, April 24, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- With an early start to the tick season, consumers can go to virtuwell.com to get a diagnosis and treatment for Lyme disease, the most common tick-borne illness. More than 900 cases of Lyme disease are reported each year in Minnesota according to the Minnesota Department of Health.

"Many people experience a deer tick bite while camping or traveling and it is important to get treatment quickly, so this option can be a great alternative when time and convenience are your top priority," said Pat Courneya, MD, medical director for virtuwell.

At virtuwell, nurse practitioners can evaluate consumers that have been bitten by a deer tick, and they can determine the best course of treatment based on symptoms, when the bite occurred, as well as uploaded pictures of the bite or rash. In some cases it is safe for the patient to be observed. Others might need a prescription for an antibiotic to prevent or treat Lyme disease. The nurse practitioners can also help identify symptoms that may indicate a more serious tick-borne disease that would need further in-person medical evaluation.

Launched in 2010, virtuwell.com offers personalized diagnoses, treatment recommendations, and prescriptions, when necessary, for more than 40 common conditions. Experienced nurse practitioners are available online around the clock and have provided treatment plans for more than 25,000 patient visits. Treatment guidelines are based on the latest scientific research and on recommended guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement and other independent research organizations.

virtuwell.com is available to any resident of Minnesota or Wisconsin, traveling anywhere in the U.S., as well as for visitors to Minnesota or Wisconsin. Adults and children over the age of two can use virtuwell. The cost is never more than $40 and may be less depending on the type of insurance that patients have. Ninety five percent of virtuwell users report that it saved them two hours or more of time.
 

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Patricia Lund
651.254.4731