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When to Seek Medical Help for Flu

01/16/18

Flu prevention

It’s best to seek medical care from your healthcare provider rather than go to the emergency room when you have the flu, but if you experience the following symptoms, seek emergency medical help right away:

  • Trouble breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pressure or pain in your chest or stomach
  • Dehydration
  • Dizziness or confusion
  • Severe vomiting

In children, watch for the following signs that warrant emergency medical aid:

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Not waking up; not interacting
  • Being extremely irritable
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Fever with a rash

In infants, watch for these signs that warrant emergency medical aid:

  • Being unable to eat
  • Trouble breathing
  • No tears produced when crying
  • Significantly fewer wet diapers than normal

If you are in a high risk group—young children, people 65 and older, pregnant women, and people with certain medical conditions—and develop flu symptoms, contact your healthcare provider immediately for antiviral treatment to prevent complications.