woman is sick with the flu and blowing her nose

When to Seek Emergency Care for the Flu

Influenza, more commonly known as the flu, is caused by a virus that infects the respiratory tract. It is spread from person to person through virus-infected droplets that are coughed or sneezed in the air. The peak season for flu activity in Texas is between December-February.

The flu usually isn’t an emergency, especially if you are young and healthy. However, the flu can be deadly for older adults over 65, pregnant women, and those battling a chronic condition. People in these high-risk groups who experience severe flu symptoms should not hesitate to go to an ER for care. Early treatment can help prevent bacterial pneumonia, a superinfection, and even death.

Is there ever a case where an otherwise healthy person should go to the ER because of the flu? The short answer is yes. In this blog post, the professionals at Quality Care ER will help you understand when your flu symptoms call for emergency care.

Difficulty Breathing

The influenza virus can lead to pneumonia, an infection of your lungs. This infection inflames air sacs in the lungs, which can fill with fluid or pus. Pneumonia can be life-threatening to anyone, but especially for infants and people over 65. You should seek emergency treatment immediately if you have a severe cough with mucus, difficulty breathing, or shortness of breath.

Pressure in the Chest

Another complication of the flu is that it can lead to acute bronchitis, an inflammation of the lining of bronchial tubes. While acute bronchitis improves by itself, repeated cases of bronchitis can lead to chronic bronchitis, which requires medical attention. Left untreated, it can lead to pneumonia, emphysema, pulmonary hypertension, and heart failure. You should seek emergency care if you have tightness or pressure in the chest and suspect you may have chronic bronchitis.

Sudden Dizziness

Encephalitis is a rare condition that occurs when an influenza virus enters the brain tissue. This condition causes brain inflammation and can lead to destroyed nerves, internal bleeding in the brain, and brain damage. The most common symptoms are nausea, sudden dizziness, and mental confusion. You should visit an ER if you have the flu and experience these symptoms.

At Quality Care ER, you are never just a patient to us! You can count on our team to provide you with the care you deserve. Contact us today at (903) 417-0886 or visit our website to learn more about the treatments we offer.