When to Seek Care

When to Seek Medical Care

If you become ill with influenza-like symptoms, stay home and avoid contact with other people. Remember that you may have the flu even if you have only a few symptoms or your symptoms are mild. If you carry the virus and spread it to others, their illness may be more severe or even life-threatening.

Emergency care should not be necessary unless you become seriously ill. However, if you are at high risk for complications, you should contact your physician or seek medical care as soon as you notice symptoms. Your healthcare provider will determine whether you should be tested and treated for the flu.

In children, emergency warning signs that require urgent medical care include:

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish or gray skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Not waking up or not interacting normally
  • Being so irritable that they do not want to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough

In adults, emergency warnings signs that require urgent medical care include:

  • 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

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