When do you go to the ER with the flu?

By WEEK Reporter
By NBC News

When do you go to the ER with the flu?

January 21, 2013 Updated Jan 21, 2013 at 5:19 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Flu season still has its grip on the United States.

The influenza virus is generally unpleasant but not deadly.  However, the flu virus still kills between 3,000 and 49,000 people annually, according to NBC News.

So when is it a good time to possibly go the the emergency room or call the doctor due to flu symptoms.  NBC News is giving out some warnings signs and tips on how to proceed if the virus might be taking a turn for the worse.

Call 911 if:

  • You or a child has severe difficulty breathing
  • A child is making grunting noises with each breath
  • A flu patient has passed out or stopped breathing
  • The lips turn blue when the patient isn’t coughing

Go to the emergency room if:

  • A child is breathing fast or has trouble breathing
  • Skin has turned bluish
  • A child is not drinking enough fluids
  • A child is not waking up or not interacting
  • A child is too irritable to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough — this can indicate a “secondary infection”
  • There’s fever with a rash
  • An infant cries with no tears or has very few wet diapers — this can indicate dehydration, which can kill quickly.
  • There's difficulty breathing
  • There's sudden dizziness or confusion

When to call the doctor:

  • If you or a child has flulike symptoms and a stiff neck, severe headache, severe ear pain or a very sore throat
  • If your child is younger than 3 months and has a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
  • When fever rises above 104 degrees Fahrenheit repeatedly for a child of any age
  • When fever persists for more than 24 hours in a child younger than 2 years.
  • If the fever lasts more than three days in a child age 2 or older.
  • If the child’s chest hurts even when he or she isn’t coughing
  • If the child’s ribs pull in with each breath (these are called retractions)
  • If the child can't take a deep breath because of chest pain
  • If the child has severe chest pain, has coughed up blood or is wheezing

The NBC News report can be read HERE.

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