4 reasons you may want to see your doctor about your flu conditions

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In comparison as of Jan. 21, 2017, there were 520 laboratory-confirmed cases and two flu-related deaths last season. Here are some good reasons why you may want to see a doctor.

Have you noticed that the flu season is in full swing? Well it is, and it seems to be reaching epidemic levels in most states. On January 24th, the Delaware Health & Social Services reported Delaware’s first flu related death in New Castle County, Delaware this year. However, the 76-year-old Sussex County man had other underlying health issues.

(Photo: CDC)

As of January 19, there have been 912 laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza in Delaware. This number only reflects laboratory-confirmed cases and the actual total in the state is likely much higher as not everyone seeks treatment for their symptoms.

In comparison as of Jan. 21, 2017, there were 520 laboratory-confirmed cases and two flu-related deaths last season.

“The flu continues to hit Delaware hard, and we will likely continue to see flu activity continue for weeks to come,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “It is critically important to take preventive measures such as practicing social distancing, washing hands frequently, and covering coughs and sneezes. Everyone is at risk, and vulnerable populations, like the very young and elderly, are even more so. The flu is unpredictable, and should never be taken lightly.”

On average, most cold and flu symptoms subside within about one to two weeks, with at home care or anti-viral medications and over 200,000 people are hospitalized due to flu-related complications in the U.S. each year.

Problem is, most people don’t know when to go from at home care to doctor care when flu symptoms worsen, change, or lasts longer than two weeks. How do you know if it’s time to go see a doctor? Below are four reasons why you should consult with your doctor to treat cold and flu-related complications.

1. If you get congested, sometimes congestion from a cold can create an ear or sinus infection. If you experience ear pain, facial pain, or tooth pain, you should consult with your physician. Research shows that when left untreated, sinus or ear infections can last for weeks, sometimes months, and lead to more serious complications.

2. Vomiting and diarrhea are also common flu symptoms, especially in children. Adults and children who have the flu and are having trouble keeping foods and liquids down due to vomiting, may be at risk for dehydration and should see a doctor. A physician can recommend a course of action, such as oral rehydration or even intravenous fluids for more severe cases.

3. Pneumonia is the most common cause of viral infection in adults with the flu. If you have flu-like symptoms, including a high fever, and experience chest pain, pressure, or difficulty breathing, then make an appointment to see your doctor. Many people with the flu also develop bronchitis. If you have a bothersome and persistent cough for more than 10 days, you may want to see a health care provider.

4. If you have a sudden sore throat accompanied by a fever, but no upper respiratory symptoms, then you may have strep throat. Strep throat is a common bacterial infection that can be treated with antibiotics. Other signs of strep throat are pain when swallowing, swollen lymph nodes on the neck, and white or yellow spots on the back of the throat.

While rest, plenty of fluids, and medication can ease cold and flu symptoms, sometimes a consultation with a doctor becomes necessary. If you or a loved one are suffering from cold and flu complications, then schedule an appointment with a physician today.

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