flu symptoms

Flu can be dangerous. Here’s when to seek emergency help.

If you’ve ever had the flu, you know it’s a miserable experience. Luckily for most people, getting through it means staying home from work, resting and recuperating.

However, for some people – even those who are otherwise healthy – the flu can quickly turn into an emergency. Here are the symptoms of the flu that require a trip to the emergency room, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

In children:

  • Troubled or fast breathing.
  • Bluish skin color.
  • Not drinking enough fluids.
  • Not waking up or not interacting.
  • Irritability that causes the child to refuse being held.
  • Symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough.
  • Fever with a rash.

For infants, in addition to the signs above:

  • Unable to eat.
  • Trouble breathing.
  • No tears when crying.
  • Fewer wet diapers than normal.

In adults

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen.
  • Sudden dizziness.
  • Confusion.
  • Severe or persistent vomiting.
  • Symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough.

If you or a loved one has any of the symptoms above, seek medical help. A doctor can prescribe antiviral medications, which can help those with the flu feel better faster and can prevent the onset of more serious complications.

Because flu activity continues to rise, experts say it’s not too late to get a flu vaccine if you haven’t already. Aside from getting a flu shot, washing your hands correctly is one of the best things you can do to prevent the spread the of virus.


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