It’s cold and flu season again and everyone in the Park Cities seems to be blowing their noses and complaining. While a cold is unpleasant, influenza or “the flu” can be deadly to young children, the elderly and those with chronic or other underlying health conditions.
If you've not gotten your flu shot yet, get one immediately. It is your best defense against the flu, but takes two weeks to reach full effectiveness.
What if you get the flu? Remember the old phrase, “mother a cold, but doctor the flu.” While there is no treatment for a cold, the flu has a specific treatment plan that requires a prescription.
When taking care of your sick loved ones or yourself, be on the alert for danger signs. The flu can hit you hard and may require immediate medical attention. According to Highland Park Emergency Center, the following symptoms are signs of the flu:
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Body aches
- Sometimes diarrhea and vomiting
While not everyone who gets the flu has a fever, it is definitely a sign to pay closer attention. Most people who get the flu recover with over-the-counter remedies and without medical attention, but if you are very sick or worried about your illness, you should seek help immediately. People in a high risk group like young children, the elderly, pregnant women or those with underlying health problems should definitely get help.
Emergency warning signs include:
- Fast breathing or trouble breathing
- Bluish skin color
- Not drinking enough fluids
- Not waking up or interacting with you
- Extreme irritability, not wanting to be held
- Symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
- Fever with a rash
- Unable to eat (particularly babies)
- No tears when crying
- Fewer wet diapers (classic dehydration sign for babies and toddlers)
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
- Severe or persistent vomiting
- Flu-like symptoms that improve and then come back with fever and worse cough
The flu is highly contagious. For those who get sick, the Centers for Disease Control recommend you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone and without the use of drugs like Tylenol®. Do not go to work, school or anywhere in public until you are well.
If you see or experience emergency symptoms, head to Highland Park Emergency Center, a free-standing emergency room right in your neighborhood that is open 24-hours a day. An emergency room physician can see you quickly, evaluate your condition, and take steps to alleviate your symptoms immediately. If appropriate, they will prescribe anti-viral drugs and/or admit you to the hospital if needed.
Highland Park Emergency Center
5150 Lemmon Ave Suite 108
Dallas, Texas 75209