When is the flu an emergency? | Norton Healthcare Louisville, Ky.

When is the flu an emergency?

Young children, people 65 and older, pregnant women and people with certain medical conditions are at high risk for serious flu complications.

If you are mildly ill with the flu, there’s no need to go to an emergency room.

Your health provider will give you a plan to get better. It will include staying home and avoiding contact with others except to get medical treatment. Antiviral medicine is most helpful if started within two days of the start of symptoms.

Young children, people 65 and older, pregnant women and people with certain medical conditions, however, are at high risk for serious flu complications.

“If you’re a healthy young patient and you’re able to break the fever with over-the-counter medicine, and you’re not having problems breathing, then you can probably just see how you do for a couple days before following up with your doctor,” said Christina M Breit, M.D., internal medicine physician with Norton Community Medical Associates – Mallard Creek.

When Is the Flu an Emergency?

If you have any of the following emergency warning signs of the flu, go to an emergency room.

Children

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Fever with a rash

Flu Treatment When You Need It

Norton Healthcare has convenient options for flu symptom treatment in kids and adults, including 24/7 access to a provider in person or online.

Get Better

Infants

In addition to the signs above, get medical help right away for an infant with any of these signs:

  • Unable to feed
  • Trouble breathing
  • No tears when crying
  • Significantly fewer wet diapers than normal

Adults

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

Norton Community Medical Associates – Mallard Creek

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(502) 629-1234

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