iCare – Flu Symptoms – Urgent Care Services Page
Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is caused by a virus that affects the respiratory system, including the throat, nose, and lungs. Sometimes, the term “flu” is used for stomach viruses as well, which results in vomiting and diarrhea. It is important to note that different viruses cause respiratory flu and stomach flu.
Symptoms of the Flu
Initially, the flu seems to be a common cold, with symptoms such as a sore throat, runny nose, and sneezing. Common symptoms include:
- Fever over 100.4 F
- Chills and sweating
- Muscle aches
- Sore throat
- Persistent, dry coughing
- Nasal congestion
- Weakness and fatigue
How can you tell the difference between a common cold and the flu? These flu symptoms come on quickly, and they are usually more intense compared to the common cold.
Additionally, a fever usually accompanies the flu but is rare with a head cold. Chills are often experienced with the flu (especially when a fever is present) but are uncommon with the common cold. Overall, the symptoms of the flu are more severe than what you experience with a cold.
Do You Need to See a Doctor?
In many situations, at-home treatments can be done for mild or moderate flu symptoms. If you have a high risk of complications, the flu could potentially be deadly without treatment due to secondary infections.
These high-risk patients should see a doctor as soon as possible:
- Children under the age of 5, particularly babies under the age of 1
- Seniors over the age of 65
- People with weakened immune systems or on immune-suppressant medications
- Patients with chronic health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, asthma, kidney disease, and liver disease
- Residents receiving long-term care services
- Pregnant women
- People with a body mass index (BMI) of 40+
When is the Flu an Emergency?
If the flu symptoms progress from mild to moderate or severe, then it is essential to seek medical care right away. For example, you shouldn’t hesitate to visit the nearest urgent care or ER if symptoms include:
- A lack of urination
- Severe weakness
- High fever
- Difficulty breathing
- Bluish colored nails or lips
- Coughing up blood
- Inability to arouse while sleeping
- Pressure or pain in the chest
- Worsening of other chronic medical conditions
One of the benefits of choosing iCare ER and Urgent Care is that we offer both emergency treatments and urgent care services in the same office. A free, initial consultation will be completed to determine if your symptoms require emergency care. If not, then you can choose services through our urgent care facilities to avoid paying ER prices.
Treatment for the Flu
In many situations, flu symptoms will go away with time. Most people recover within a few days, although the illness can linger for as long as two weeks at times. The recommendation is to rest at home and drink plenty of fluids. Since the flu is contagious, it is best to minimize contact with other people.
Treatments might include the use of antiviral medications to manage the virus and avoid organ failure, pneumonia, and other serious inflammation in the body. If complications occur, such as pneumonia or sinus/ear infections, then symptomatic treatments can be identified to help with secondary infections.
Severe flu symptoms might require hospitalization, especially for people who fall into the high-risk categories listed above.
Flu Treatments from iCare ER and Urgent Care
Our doctors at iCare ER and Urgent Care are here to help with the diagnosis and treatment of the flu. If you need medical treatment, then we encourage you to visit our urgent care or ER as soon as possible. Call ahead if you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment: (214) 407-8668.