Health Tip: When to Seek Medical Care if You Have the Flu

This year's flu season is shaping up to be the worst in nearly a decade, experts say.

The flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself. If you do develop symptoms including high fever, severe body aches, headache, extreme fatigue, sore throat, cough, runny nose, vomiting or diarrhea, you probably have the flu, the American Red Cross says.

Most cases don't require a visit to the emergency room, but the Red Cross says these symptoms require immediate medical care:

  • Fast breathing, trouble breathing or bluish skin color.
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen.
  • Confusion.
  • Sudden dizziness.
  • Inability to drink or eat, or severe or persistent vomiting.
  • Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return.
  • Fever with a rash (children).
  • No tears when crying or significantly fewer wet diapers than usual (children).

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