When the Flu Becomes an Emergency

Flu season is upon us, and you need to make sure you keep yourself healthy in the cool weather. The first step is protecting yourself by getting this year’s flu vaccine. The next step involves taking the proper health precautions, like washing your hands often, staying away from sick people, and not touching your face. No matter how careful you are, however, the flu can still find you. Learn more about the flu and when you should go to the emergency room.

Flu Symptoms

If you have the flu, you may experience any combination of these symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Headaches
  • Body aches
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

The flu can lead to further complications including bronchitis, pneumonia, ear infections, and sinus infections.

When to Go to the ER

With enough fluids, rest, and over-the-counter treatments, symptoms may be eased and the flu overcome. However, the flu can become a serious problem for some people. Your body will let you know if you need medical help to fight off the flu. If you experience any of the following symptoms, you may need to receive emergency medical attention.

  • Lips or skin appear bluish
  • High fever and rash
  • Severe vomiting
  • After improving, symptoms return even worse than before
  • Unconsciousness

If you have a weakened immune system, are over 65 years of age, or are pregnant, seek medical attention if you suspect you have the flu. If you have asthma or congestive heart failure, you also need to seek medical attention for flu symptoms. If your flu symptoms are giving you great concern, visit your nearest emergency center.

Sources:
http://www.everydayhealth.com/news/flu-self-treat-see-doctor-go-er/
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/preventing.htm
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/symptoms.htm