When to Call a Doctor – Seasonal Flu

Sick woman blowing her nose

It Generally Clears Up

Influenza can’t be cured, but if you’re in good health, it’ll usually go away on its own within several days to several weeks. Sometimes influenza can usher in more serious conditions that require medical attention, however. Following are signs that getting past your bout with the flu may require medical assistance.

You Have Trouble Breathing, Or Chest Pain

If you’ve been asthmatic in the past or have a history of heart disease in your family, this could very well be why influenza has brought on the pain. Additionally, pneumonia could have set up residence in your lungs, filling them with fluid. Pneumonia definitely requires additional help from a medical authority. Should you have chest pain in conjunction to regular flu symptoms, it may very well be related to pneumonia or something worse, only a doctor can tell you for sure.

Your Fever Won’t Resolve

In an adult, a fever that’s 100.5 degrees or more (which won’t go away) is something that should be looked at by a doctor. It usually indicates that there is one or more additional infections plaguing your body.

Call A Doctor In Cases Of Influenza Acquired By A Senior

The older a person is, the weaker their immune system. Much past seventy, influenza could quickly snowball into a much worse and life-threatening condition. If you or a loved one contracts the flu at this age, it is very recommendable to see a doctor. Most deaths which are related to influenza happen to those that are extremely old or extremely young. In these times of life, immune systems are weakened. Influenza claims the lives of over 50,000 people every year, and most of them are either really young or really old.

Call A Doctor For Very Young Children Catching The Flu

Under a year, definitely contact your physician should your child contract any illness. The same goes through early childhood, probably until they’re older than five years of age. Immune systems are just developing in children at this age, and while there does eventually manifest a resiliency that surpasses many adult immune systems by the time a child is in their teens, early age often indicates heightened susceptibility to infections like those which come from the influenza virus.

You Can’t Keep Water Down

Your body must have copious amounts of fluid in order to combat influenza. If you drink and then vomit so much that your body can’t process fluids, you need to be hooked up to an IV so you can recover. Not doing so could result in a serious worsening of your condition which may ultimately prove fatal. Don’t panic though; you’ve got about a 24 hour window, here.

Swallowing Hurts

A sore throat is normal, but it shouldn’t hurt to swallow. This is very likely a sign that additional inflaming agencies, possibly a separate viral infection, are affecting you. See a doctor.

Persistent Cough

If it’s been a few weeks and your cough won’t go away this is a sign that the sickness may have moved down into the lungs, giving you a form of walking pneumonia. While walking pneumonia may clear up on its own, it also may not. Contact a physician; it may be that antibiotics clear the problem right up; but since they’ve been over-prescribed, there may be mitigating conditions.

Congestion And Headache Refuse To Leave

This could very likely indicate a sinus infection has transcended your cold, and medical attention is necessary to resolve it in a healthy manner.


Influenza usually clears up on its own, except when it doesn’t: then you need a doctor.

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