Flu season is just around the corner, but some of you may have already caught the bug! Surely you know that you should drink lots of fluids and get plenty of rest in order to combat the flu virus, but sometimes the flu doesn’t always go away so easily. While the flu is often seen as an illness that doesn’t require medical attention, there can be cases where medical intervention is necessary. Keep reading to learn when to go to the ER with the flu.

adult flu warning signs



Warning Signs That the Flu Requires Emergency Care in Adults

The flu can be life-threatening if you experience symptoms such as the following:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Chest pain/ abdominal pain
  • Vomiting that won’t go away
  • Dizziness
  • Swelling present in the mouth or throat
  • Confusion 
  • Symptoms that get better but come back and worsen
child flu warning signs



Warning Signs That the Flu Requires Emergency Care in Children

A child’s immune system is extremely susceptible to disease, so it’s important to check for these symptoms in order to get your child medical care as soon as possible to avoid complications.

  • Skin is blue
  • Abnormal irritability
  • Young children not drinking enough fluids
  • Infants not producing tears when crying
  • Babies have fewer wet diapers than usual
  • Fast breathing or difficulty breathing
  • No appetite
  • High fever with a rash
flu symptoms



Common Flu Symptoms

These symptoms can feel horrible when they occur but are signs that your body is fighting the flu and should subside within a couple of days. Don’t be alarmed if these symptoms show up:

  • Fever and chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Fatigue

Seek help from your primary care doctor or urgent care if you find yourself sick during times the doctor’s office is closed.

A girl washing hands to avoid catching the flu in Houston, TX

How to Avoid Catching the Flu

If you are not having a life or death emergency, do not go to an emergency room. If you are healthy, make it a point to avoid the emergency room due to the high chances for infection. You are more likely to catch the flu during this time of the year in heavily populated areas, especially in facilities where the gravely sick enter.

Make sure you wash your hands often and thoroughly, avoid direct contact with those that are sick with the flu. This can be especially hard with a family if you are the caretaker, but make sure that you disinfect everything you touch, and you wash your hands after coming in contact with a sick family member.

Getting the flu shot is also highly recommended before becoming infected.

flu high risk

High-risk group for flu complications

  • Young children
  • Adults ages 65+
  • Pregnant women
  • People with chronic conditions

Find an Emergency Room Near You

Stop by Village Emergency Centers in Katy, River Oaks, Clear Creek, or Jersey Village when you need to go to the ER with the flu.

Further Reading

Should You Go To The ER For Pneumonia?

What Causes An Upper Respiratory Infection?

Strep Throat Symptoms in Kids