We’re sure you’ve had to take some downtime from your daily routine because of symptoms that include difficulty breathing, fever, chills, body aches, and a sore throat. You might even have rushed to your primary care doctor and come back with medicines and pills to treat something called “the flu.”

If you’ve been in this situation, you’ve had a very close encounter with the influenza virus, which affects over 9 million people worldwide and is highly contagious. Even though the virus itself isn’t deadly, and usually passes within two weeks of taking the proper medication, it may worsen in some cases and cause complications. To understand it better, let’s take a closer look at its symptoms and causes.

Understanding Influenza and Its Symptoms

Influenza has an incubation period of two to four days. The symptoms will only start showing two to four days after coming into contact with the virus. At first, the symptoms of flu are mild and may resemble those of the common cold, including a runny nose and a sore throat.

However, if the proper medication isn’t taken at the right time, the cold-like symptoms then turn into full-blown flu, including symptoms like fever, muscle aches, headaches, cough, and difficulty breathing.

Other symptoms of the flu include eye pain, vomiting, diarrhea, chills, and cold sweats.

When To See Your Doctor

Typically, influenza isn’t a critical disease. You can treat it at home with medication and home remedies. However, in some cases—especially where the patient is immunocompromised or is already fighting a chronic illness, it can cause life-threatening complications. These people should be rushed to the doctor immediately to ensure proper, professional medical care.

Emergency signs and symptoms that require immediate medical attention include extreme difficulty in breathing, chest pain, seizures, dizziness that doesn’t stop, severe muscle pain. Emergency signs for children include blue lips, dehydration, seizures, and severe pain in muscles.

Some of these symptoms may indicate more serious medical issues. If you notice your child, or a loved one exhibiting two or more of these signs, it is the best interest of the individual to take them to the doctor.

Influenza Risk Factors

As discussed earlier, seasonal influenza is a reasonably common sickness that is generally mild and resolves itself within a few days. However, certain risk factors could worsen the infection and put the patient at risk.

These risk factors include being 65 years or older, having an existing medical condition, being pregnant, and having a weakened immune system. If you fall within these categories, it’s best to seek immediate medical advice if you start experiencing symptoms of flu.

The pandemic has made hospital waiting rooms unsafe to visit for minor health issues like influenza. You can reach our expert doctors for consultations via telemedicine.

At Urgent Care Hawaii, we believe in safety first for all of our clients and staff. Our safety measures are best in class, and we monitor them regularly to ensure they meet the highest standards. Get in touch with us today at 808.456.CARE(2273).