During The Flu Season, Hospital Emergency Rooms Become Crowded With Patients Who Have To Wait Hours To See A Doctor
How the Flu is Treated
If you have a typical bout of the flu, a lot of rest and plenty of fluids should get you through the worst symptoms in about three days. Acetaminophen may help with achy joints or headaches. For kids, ask a doctor about over-the-counter medications and dosages.
If your child is congested, you can try some warm chicken soup or tea to loosen up the congestion. If you have a more severe case that is treated in the ER, you may be given IV fluids and prescribed an antiviral medication.
People often confuse a cold with the flu. There are some similar symptoms, like a sore throat or runny nose, but here are symptoms that indicate it may be more than just a cold:
- Severe aches in muscles and joints
- Pain and tiredness around your eyes
- Weakness or extreme fatigue
- Warm, flushed skin and red, watery eyes
- A headache
- A dry cough
- A sore throat and runny nose
- Vomiting or Diarrhea (in children)
About 200,000 Americans are hospitalized each year because of flu complications. People with underdeveloped or weakened immune systems like children, elderly, and immunocompromised adults are more likely to experience complications with the flu. The following symptoms may indicate you have a severe case and should seek immediate help from a medical professional:
- Trouble breathing or shortness of breath
- Pain or pressure in your chest or belly
- Sudden dizziness
- Severe vomiting
Peak flu season in the U.S. runs from December to February but you can catch the flu any time of year—even in the summer.
On average, about 5-20% of the U.S. population will get the flu each year. That’s a lot of sick people—more than all the people in NYC, Chicago, Los Angeles, Tyler, and Longview combined. Because the flu spreads easily and can be detrimental to high-risk persons, like the elderly and immunocompromised people, the CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccination for anyone 6 months or older. Getting a flu vaccination may prevent you from having to deal with doctors’ visits, missed work, school absences, uncomfortable flu symptoms, and hospitalization in some rare cases.
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