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While There Isn’t a Cure for the Flu, Treatment Can Prevent Severe Illness While Alleviating Dangerous Symptoms

While you can catch the flu in any season, your risk increases during the fall and winter when the virus is at its peak. If you catch this respiratory virus, you can expect to suffer from uncomfortable symptoms. You can likely manage them at home by getting ample rest and drinking fluids. However, influenza can be a medical emergency. Learn more about the symptoms and when you should go to the emergency room.

What Are the Symptoms of the Flu?

You might experience mild to severe symptoms. Common flu symptoms include:

  • Fever and/or Chills
  • Coughing
  • Sore Throat
  • Muscle Aches and Headaches
  • Tiredness
  • Stuffy and/or Running Nose
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Not all people have a fever with the flu. Additionally, only some people have vomiting and diarrhea. This is more common in children.

How Long Does the Flu Last?

You will notice your first symptoms within one to four days of exposure. Then, the symptoms generally last for five to seven days, although they can last longer. Additionally, the virus generally runs its course in less time if you’ve had the flu vaccine.

Getting a Flu Diagnosis

When you go to the emergency room, your provider will use tests to diagnose the flu. After taking a medical history and going over your symptoms, the provider will swab the back of your throat or the inside of your nose. Then, the swab will be tested to see if you have influenza.

When to Go to the Emergency Room

Most people can recover at home without medical treatment. However, you need to go to the emergency room if:

Also, you should consult your doctor if you’re in a high-risk group for severe illness. High-risk groups include:

  • Children four and under
  • Adults 65 and over
  • Pregnant women
  • People with diabetes, heart disease, asthma, and other chronic conditions

Flu Treatment

Unfortunately, there is not a cure for influenza. However, antiviral drugs can reduce the duration of the illness by up to two days. These medications also lower the likelihood you’ll suffer severe illness.

Additionally, you might require oxygen therapy and other treatment for severe symptoms. Your doctor will devise a treatment plan based on your symptoms and risk factors.

If you have severe illness or are in a high-risk group, don’t hesitate to go to the emergency room. The staff there will work quickly to diagnose and treat your condition.

Concerned about the flu? Baptist Emergency Room & Urgent Care offers 24/7 medical care at our emergency room/urgent care clinic. No appointments necessary.