Proper preparation, such as maintaining a healthy diet, keeping your surfaces clean, regular hand sanitization, getting the flu vaccine, and ensuring that your medicine, health supplies, and foods and drinks in your pantry are in place, among other measures, helps you to get through the flu season. If you are sick, staying home and keeping the germs away from others is advisable. It would also be best to stay away from the hospitals, noting that it is a hotspot that could see you collecting the flow. Despite being well prepared, you can still catch the flu, noting that even the most meticulous plans, at times, go sideways. Don’t panic yet; the flu, for most people, runs its course, and within a week or two, it is gone. However, at times, it gets worse, necessitating urgent medical attention.
Noting the symptoms that necessitate urgent medical attention might not be that straightforward, you can tell them apart from the common flu symptoms. Checking in with your primary care doctor can help you to establish if you need further care. While considering urgent medical attention, it would help if you visited the freestanding ER over the hospital ER. With immediate, professional, and one-on-one care from board-certified physicians, freestanding ER such as the San Antonio ER clinic offers much-needed comprehensive emergency care, ensuring that significant damages are halted. If you have the flu and wonder if you should seek urgent medical attention, here are some symptoms to look out for.
Shortness of breath or experiencing difficulty breathing
While a runny/stuffy nose might be uncomfortable, it shouldn’t be hard for you to breathe. Shortness/difficulty breathing is an indicator that you might be experiencing flu complications such as pneumonia. Infection of the lungs makes it difficult to breathe, a serious concern that should be addressed urgently. While a common complication, pneumonia shouldn’t be taken lightly, as it could even lead to death if not addressed soon and appropriately.
Pain/pressure in the chest/abdomen
Flu can trigger a stroke or heart attack, especially for individuals with heart conditions. Should you experience pain or pressure in your chest or abdomen, urgent medical attention is advised. Apart from a heart attack or stroke, the chest pain could indicate that you have pneumonia, stressing the need for immediate medical attention instead of turning to self-treatment.
As you strive to fight the flu, the primary measures are ensuring that you are taking enough fluids. As such, if you can’t maintain an adequate fluid level due to persistent vomiting, it would be best if you seek urgent medical attention. Apart from depleting the fluids, making it harder to recover from the flu, severe vomiting could also be a sign of sepsis. As your body fights the flu, chemicals are released to the bloodstream, and sepsis occurs when there is an imbalance triggering changes that could lead to damages of multiple organs. Sepsis is a life-threatening flu-related complication that should be treated immediately to prevent organs from failure.
Symptoms that get better then reoccur and worse
After the flu symptoms subside, they shouldn’t reappear. However, at times, the symptoms come back and worse, typically characterized by severe cough, producing yellow/green mucus. If you spot such signs, urgent medical attention is necessary as it could indicate that you have an infection or flu-related complications such as pneumonia.
If you are pregnant
Pregnancy puts you at risk of complications. Bronchitis is among the top concerns if you get the flu while pregnant. The complications can affect you in various ways, such as having the baby prematurely, low birth weight, stillbirth, or death. As a precaution, it is advised that you get a flu shot if you are pregnant. The nasal spray flu vaccine is not recommended. As you prepare for the flu season while pregnant, talk to your primary care doctor on the best way to spot any concern that could necessitate urgent medical attention to ensure that your baby and your overall health isn’t jeopardized.
If you have asthma, flu symptoms are worse, a concern that you might overlook and associate with the condition. However, it is worth noting that asthma weakens your immune system, and while you might overlook the symptoms, it could be an indication that you’ve developed a flu-related complication. People with asthma are at high risk of developing pneumonia, stressing the need to seek urgent medical attention. Your doctor could recommend antiviral medication and prescribe options that don’t cause problems such as wheezing and other lung problems that could make the flu worse.
Suffering from a heart disease
Heart conditions and the aftermaths of a stroke are common, a concern that necessitates urgent medical attention should you get the flu. This is noting that heart conditions put you at high risk of developing flu-related complications, with a heart attack possibility more than five-folds likely to happen. Your doctor can recommend taking the flu vaccine in preparation for the season to avoid catching it and needing hospital care.
Falls under the high-risk category
Taking over the counter medication to ease flu symptoms’ isn’t always recommended, especially for groups categorized as having a high risk of developing complications. Among such groups includes;
- Children under the age of five years, and in particular at two years and below
- Older adults over the age of 65 years
- Women shortly after giving birth (two weeks postpartum)
- Living with chronic conditions such as diabetes, liver/kidney disorders, and chronic lung diseases
- The weakened immune system, such as due to HIV or cancer
- Obese individuals, to mention a few groups.
The flu season can take a toll on your progress. Taking sick days might not seem like a good idea, but unpaid sick leave is better if it keeps you away from colleagues who have the flu. Staying at home mitigates the spread. Whenever in public, avoid people with flu symptoms. Taking a lot of fluids, proper sanitization, and maintaining a healthy diet helps you to keep the flu at bay, but should you be worried that the symptoms are out of control, seeking urgent medical attention at a freestanding ER is advised.