Flu season typically lasts from late fall through spring. The influenza virus is really at its peak in the middle of winter since the virus thrives in dry, cold environments. The flu can make you feel miserable, but it’s generally not life-threatening, especially if you are otherwise healthy and have no pre-existing conditions. If you can manage your symptoms by resting at home and using home remedies like salt water gargles, steam therapy and drinking plenty of hot liquids, there’s no need to see a doctor. However, there are a few circumstances under which it may be necessary to visit the emergency room or the doctor’s clinic. Here are some of them.
You Have Atypical Symptoms
Common symptoms of the flu include extreme fatigue, a sore throat, dry cough, chills or shivering, a moderate to high fever, severe body ache, nausea, a stuffy nose, and a headache. However, if you experience difficulty breathing, seizures, or chest pain you should visit the emergency room. A few people develop a secondary infection alongside the flu. Your symptoms may be the result of a more serious condition like pneumonia.
You Belong To A High-Risk Category
Older adults, young children, pregnant women and people who suffer from chronic illnesses are vulnerable to developing secondary infections or complications from the flu. If you fall into any one of the above groups you should visit your doctor for a medical evaluation. Your doctor will chart out a course of treatment that suits your particular condition.
You Want To Get A Diagnostic Test
Usually, doctors can diagnose the flu based on the symptoms. However, people at risk of developing secondary infections or complications may want to take a diagnostic test. A test can also determine if an outbreak is on the horizon in your community, especially if you are the first person with symptoms. People who work with large groups such as teachers or preachers might choose to get a test to contain the virus.
You Don’t Seem To Be Getting Better
If your immune system isn’t fighting fit, you’re likely to languish with flu symptoms much longer than everybody else. If home remedies and over the counter decongestants and painkillers don’t seem to be working for you, your doctor can give you a prescription for stronger medications.