What You Should Know About Flu Emergency Treatment

What You Should Know About Flu Emergency Treatment

April 1, 2023

While influenza can spread throughout the years, many Americans get the flu in the fall and winter. Flu or influenza is an infection of the respiratory system, often affecting the lungs, nose, and throat. While very common, severe influenza can lead to serious and life-threatening complications.

You can often manage many flu cases at home with over-the-counter medications and home remedies like bed rest and drinking lots of fluids. The infection usually passes in a few days. Keep reading to learn more about influenza and what symptoms warrant visiting an ER near you.

Who’s at a greater risk of influenza?

While anyone can get the flu, some people are at a greater risk of developing flu complications. These include:

  • Adults above 65 years
  • Young children under two years
  • Pregnant women
  • People with a weakened immune system
  • Residents of care facilities
  • People with underlying chronic illnesses like heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, and asthma
  • Obesity

Symptoms of influenza

At first, most people mistake the flu for a common cold. While common colds develop slowly, influenza suddenly develops and can feel worse. Common symptoms you have of the flu include:

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  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Chills and sweats
  • Shortness of breath
  • Aching bodies
  • Sore throat
  • Dry and persistent cough
  • Eye pain
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Tiredness and weakness
  • Vomiting and diarrhea

Signs of the Flu Emergency

Whether you’re at a greater risk of flu complications, visit our 24-hour emergency care in Cypress, TX, or call 911 if you or your loved one experiences the following symptoms:

  • High fever: High body temperatures often indicate your body is fighting off infection. You should seek emergency treatment if your child has a fever above 102°F to 105° F, especially if it doesn’t respond to fever reducers.
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath: Seek emergency care if you can or struggle to breathe. Do not mistake difficulty breathing for nasal congestion. Shortness of breath or breathing difficulty could be a sign of pneumonia, a serious and life-threatening lung infection, and flu complication.
  • Blood in the sputum: Blood in cough or mucus is called hemoptysis. Coughing blood could indicate chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pulmonary embolism, certain cancers, pneumonia, or bronchitis.
  • Dehydration: Severe dehydration, especially among children, should warrant a visit to the ER. You may be losing hydration through vomiting or diarrhea. Common signs you’re hydrated include dry mouth, light-headedness, and dark-colored urine.
  • Worsening of persistent symptoms: Flu symptoms should fade after a few days. If your symptoms don’t improve or persist more than usual or are recurrent after a while, like recurrent fever or worsening cough, you should seek emergency medical treatment.
  • Other serious symptoms:
    • Chest pain
    • Seizures or ongoing dizziness
    • Severe weakness or muscle pain
    • Pale, gray, or blue-colored lips, skin, and nail beds (in children)
    • Worsening health conditions
    • Extreme irritability
    • Unresponsiveness or confusion
    • Pain in the abdomen

Flu Emergency Treatment

When you visit the ER for severe flu infection, the health care provider will monitor your symptoms, diagnose your problems, and provide the necessary treatments to shorten your illness, help you recover, and prevent serious complications.

For instance, they can prescribe antiviral medications like zanamivir (Relenza), oseltamivir (Tamiflu), or baloxavir (Xofluza). Annual influenza vaccine can help reduce your chances of developing complications from influenza. Flu vaccination prevents millions of flu infections and contains thousands of cases of hospitalizations and deaths yearly.

Other tips for recovering quickly from influenza include:

  • Get enough rest and sleep to help your body recover faster.
  • Keep warm. Exposure to cold can worsen your symptoms and cause complications.
  • Hydrate by taking plenty of fluids like water and soups. Avoiding alcoholic and acidic items can cause more dehydration.
  • Eat a healthy and balanced diet with plenty of vegetables and fruits
  • Avoid tobacco or exposure to cigarettes smoke
  • Inhale from a hot bath to reduce congestion
  • Gargle with warm salt water
  • Drink hot water with lemon juice and honey

Are you looking for Emergency Medical Care?

Do you or your child have severe influenza symptoms or complications? Contact Fairfield Emergency Room or visit our emergency room near you for immediate medical care.