Most people with the flu suffer mild symptoms and don’t need to see a doctor. However, people at risk of complications could potentially suffer life-threatening consequences.
If you’re unsure what to do, this article covers 8 reasons to get medical help when you have the flu.
You have Difficulty Breathing or Shortness of Breath
It could be a sign of pneumonia if you’re sick with the flu and have difficulty breathing. This disease is a common and possibly serious flu complication. It is also responsible for 49,000 deaths yearly in the United States.
You’re Vomiting Often
Vomiting reduces your body fluids and makes it difficult to deal with the flu. It could also be sepsis, a complication leading to organ failure.
You Feel Pain or Pressure in Your Chest or Abdomen
Flu can trigger strokes and heart attacks in people with heart disease.
You have Asthma
People with asthma have weaker immune systems, leading to worse flu symptoms. Adults and children with asthma also have a higher chance of being hospitalized for flu complications and developing pneumonia compared to those who don’t have asthma.
If you’re pregnant and sick with the flu, you’re at a higher risk of developing bronchitis. You’re also at risk of delivering your baby prematurely or at a low birth weight.
Your Symptoms Get Better, Then Come Back Worse
Your symptoms shouldn’t resurface after they’ve been treated. However, a high fever and a serious cough that produces yellow or green mucus are possible signs of a pneumonia infection.
You Have Heart Disease
According to the American Heart Association, about 92 million have some type of heart disease or live with the aftermath of a stroke. Researchers have also discovered that heart attack risk increases six-fold in the first week of a confirmed flu infection.
If you have a heart disease, the best strategy for avoiding the virus and potential hospital care is to get the flu vaccine.
You’re Among Those At High Risk of Complications From Flu
You’re at risk of flu complications and should get medical treatment if you fall into any of these categories:
● Adults age 65 years and older
● Women who are up to two weeks postpartum
● Children younger than 5, but especially those younger than age 2
If you relate to any of the points above, you should seek medical attention immediately. Even if you don’t have asthma, chest pain, or heart disease, you should consult your doctor if something doesn’t feel right when dealing with the flu.