If you are relatively healthy, chances are you won't need medical attention for influenza. However, if you have a particularly acute case, then you may need some help. When your regular doctor is not available, consider checking in with an urgent care center when you have the flu. Continue reading to learn more about serious flu symptoms and when you should seek medical treatment.
What Are Common Flu Symptoms?
One of the earliest flu symptoms is a painful and persistent cough. Fevers up to 102 degrees can follow within a day or two. You may have some upper respiratory symptoms as well. Generally, you will not feel well and have a lack of appetite. Most people start to recover within a few days to a week without treatment. You may not be completely well for a couple of weeks after an acute flu case.
What Are Acute or Troublesome Symptoms?
Some people have more acute symptoms, such as chills and a very high fever. You may have headaches and a sore throat as well. Your muscles will ache, and you may not feel like moving around much. Your face may look and feel flushed, and you could have watery eyes.
Over-the-counter flu medications can help mediate these symptoms to help you feel more comfortable. They don't cure or shorten the flu, but they can make you feel better. However, if those medications improve your symptoms, then visit an urgent care center for other treatment.
What Symptoms Indicate an Emergency?
Emergency symptoms are life-threatening. They often involve difficulty breathing and an extremely high fever. Loss of consciousness and mental confusion are also extreme flu symptoms. Vomiting is also not a usual sign of influenza and could mean something more serious. These symptoms need emergency treatment rather than urgent care.
Who Should Seek Medical Help?
Anyone exhibiting symptoms that do not begin to get better after a few days may do well to seek urgent care. You should also seek care if you start to get better, then get sick again. If you are at high risk, such as if you are elderly, pregnant, or have a respiratory condition, seek treatment as soon as you see symptoms. Sometimes, antiviral drugs can help in the early stages and keep high-risk patients out of an emergency situation.
Influenza is hard on everyone, but most people recover at home with few problems. However, if you are at high risk or have unusual symptoms, then seek medical help. Life-threatening emergencies require a visit to an emergency room. For acute symptoms, visit an urgent care center near you, such as Western WI Health, if your regular doctor is not available.