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The Flu: When is it an emergency?

January 11, 2019

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Flu is in the air! As we enter peak flu season, it’s important to take preventive measures and be well educated on the signs and symptoms, as well as treatment options. The flu can cause mild to severe symptoms, along with life-threatening complications in the young and old.


Some common signs of the flu include:

  • Body or muscle aches
  • Cough
  • Fatigue (moderate to severe)
  • Fever or having fever-like chills (not all with the flu will run a fever)
  • Headache
  • Runny or congested nose
  • Sore throat
  • Vomiting and diarrhea (more common in children rather than adults)
If you think you’re coming down with the flu, it is best to stay home and rest. Unless you are seeking medical attention, try to avoid contact with others for at least 24 hours. If you find yourself suffering from more serious symptoms, be on the look-out for emergency warning signs that may indicate flu-related complications and require medical treatment.


Emergency warning signs include:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Chest pain or severe abdominal pain
  • Confusion
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Severe or persistent vomiting


If you have emergency warning signs or complications, go to the nearest emergency department immediately. Find a St. Vincent emergency care location near you at www.stvincentneighborhoodhospital.org.