ATTENTION! THIS IS WHEN YOU SHOULD GO THE ER!!!!
1. When fever climbs to 103° F or higher, or trouble breathing while at rest or with slight exertion, says Marvin M. Lipman, M.D., Consumer Reports’ chief medical adviser.
2. If you experience pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen, sudden dizziness, confusion, or severe vomiting. These could all be signs of dangerous complications from flu. But unless you’re very sick, it’s best to avoid the emergency room—it’s easy to pick up other infections there.
3. Take children to the emergency room if they are breathing fast or have difficulty breathing, bluish skin, fever with a rash, are drinking very little, or are unresponsive.
How to Tell if You Need Emergency Flu Treatment
Hospitalizations and deaths are double this year! Vaccine is not very effective against this nasty strain.
The flu has hit hard and spread fast this year. Every state except Hawaii is reporting widespread influenza activity. Hospitalizations are also higher than they’ve been in several years, and more than 700 flu deaths have been recorded so far this season, up from around 300 at this time last year.
Health experts say there’s no need to panic, but it is important to know what to do if you get sick—and when it makes sense to get treatment from your doctor or head to the ER.
This year, the flu that’s circulating is the H3N2.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this strain is associated with more infections, hospitalizations, and deaths than other ones. Plus, the flu vaccine tends to be less effective at preventing infection from H3N2 than it does with other strains. (Nevertheless, it’s still vitally important to get the vaccine, because it can lessen the risk of complications and hospitalization if you do get the flu.)
Here’s how to know when you need to see the doctor or get emergency flu treatment!