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Q.

When should a person go to the emergency department for the flu?

Related Topics: Flu
 

Answers From Experts & Organizations (1)

5,093 Answers
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A.

The CDC has recently published guidelines on who should go to the emergency department for flu symptoms and who should not go. The CDC published these guidelines to avoid a crush of people going to the emergency department during the H1N1 flu pandemic and utilizing limited resources needed for true emergency patients such as cardiac or trauma patients and to avoid transmitting the virus to high-risk patients. The CDC guidelines are as follows for children and adults. The CDC urges normally healthy people who get the flu to stay home as the large majority of infected individuals will recover without antiviral medications or other treatments, and staying home should limit the viral spread.

The CDC urges people to seek emergency medical care for a sick child with any of these symptoms:

  1. Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  2. Bluish or gray skin color
  3. Not drinking enough fluids
  4. Severe or persistent vomiting
  5. Not waking up or not interacting
  6. Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  7. Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and cough

The following is the CDC's list of symptoms that should trigger emergency medical care for adults:

  1. Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  2. Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  3. Sudden dizziness
  4. Confusion
  5. Severe or persistent vomiting
  6. Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
  7. Having a high fever for more than three days is another danger sign, according to the WHO, so the CDC has also included this as another serious symptom.

This answer should not be considered medical advice...down arrowThis answer should not be considered medical advice and should not take the place of a doctor’s visit. Please see the bottom of the page for more information or visit our Terms and Conditions.up arrow

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Archived: March 20, 2014

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Read the Original Article: Flu (Influenza)