Flu Symptoms? Stay Home or Seek Medical Attention?

The flu has a peculiar feeling. Some combination of your skin feeling weird, your head feeling like a balloon and your body aching. It’s hard to describe, but you know it when you feel it.

So what can you do about it?

First thing, check your symptoms against this list.

Are you experiencing some or all of these flu symptoms?

  • fever (not always present)
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • body aches
  • headache
  • chills
  • fatigue
  • sometimes diarrhea and vomiting

Yes? It’s highly possible that you have the flu, then, and we are sorry to hear that.

Decide whether to stay home or seek medical attention.

If your symptoms are mild and you choose to stay home, officials at the Center for Disease Control want you to stay put for at least 24 hours AFTER you have become fever-free without the aid of medicine.

While you’re at home, get friend or family member to procure supplies for you. Or consider using an online goods provider like Amazon. Finally a reason to try out same-day delivery: yay!

Supplies to consider:

  • Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, fever reducers, decongestants,  anti-diarrheal medication and cough drops
  • Alcohol–based hand sanitizer (alcohol kills the virus)
  • Thermometer
  • Facial tissues
  • Canned or instant soups (low sodium is better)
  • Toilet paper
  • Laundry detergent (you’re going to want to wash those blankets you’re breathing all over)
  • Household cleaners
  • Paper towels
  • Soap

Is this an emergency?

You need immediate emergency medical attention if you are experiencing the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough

Call 911 if you are experiencing these symptoms.

If it’s not an emergency, you should consider going to an urgent care clinic rather than the emergency department.

If your symptoms are bad but not at emergency status, it’s a great idea to consider going to an urgent care clinic. Urgent care is usually less expensive than the emergency room and is perfectly equipped to treat the flu.

Some urgent cares, like REX Express Care locations, for example, even let you check in online so you can just show up exactly when they’re ready for you.

Call your primary care provider or go to urgent care if you are seeking care related to cold or flu illness/ symptoms. If you are experiencing a life threatening emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Department.