Top Complications From The Flu
This year’s flu season is shaping up to be one of the most severe in recent years. Not only did the flu season get an early start, but the strain of the virus affecting most people, the B Victoria virus, is also an unusual one, and we don’t yet know how dangerous it can be.
The latest estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that so far this season, there have been:
- 6.4 million flu illnesses,
- 55,000 flu-related hospitalizations
- 2,900 flu-related deaths
Given that the experts still don’t know how dangerous the B Victoria flu virus is, it’s important to know the causes and symptoms of the top complications from the flu. Knowing what to look for can save your life or that of a loved one.
Complications from the Flu
Most flu-related deaths are a result of a complication from the flu infection rather than the flu itself, although the flu virus can lead to death due to severe dehydration and breathing problems.
The deadliest complication from the flu is a severe bacterial infection of the lungs, commonly known as bacterial pneumonia.
Pneumonia happens because the flu virus causes damage to the lungs and causes inflammation. When the lungs are in this condition, it’s easy for bacteria to invade them and produce a severe infection.
Bacterial pneumonia can be especially dangerous in young children (5 or younger) and older adults age 65 and over.
When To Come To Prestige ER
If you’ve been sick with the flu and develop any of the following symptoms, please rush to our ER center to receive an evaluation and treatment.
- Severe, persistent cough with large amounts of mucus
- Trouble breathing or shortness of breath
- Unusually severe chills or sweating
- Fever higher than 102°F that’s not going away
- Chest pains
Otitis media is the medical term for ear infection. Ear infections cause swelling and inflammation of the middle ear. It’s symptoms include:
- Hearing loss
- Ear drainage
- Changes in mood
When to Visit the ER
Children who show the following signs that last longer than a day should see a doctor or be brought to the ER:
- Severe ear pain
- Ear discharge
- Trouble sleeping
- Unusual mood or behavior
Adults who experience severe earache and discharge need to seek immediate medical attention.
Sinus infections are a common complication of the flu. It happens when nasal cavities become inflamed, swollen, and infected.
Symptoms of sinusitis include:
- Pain or dull pressure in the sinus area
- Cloudy, green, or yellow nasal discharge
- Nasal congestion
- Decreased sense of smell
- Throat irritation and sore throat
- Hoarse voice
When to Visit Our ER
You seek medical attention when any of the following symptoms last more than a week:
- Cloudy, green, or yellow nasal discharge
- Facial pain around the sinus, eye, forehead, or upper jaw areas
Antibiotics are needed to treat infections caused by the flu, but before these can be prescribed tests to reach a proper diagnosis need to be done.
At Prestige ER, we have physicians on staff 24/7 who can prescribe the necessary tests and medications to combat flu-related complications effectively.
Don’t take a chance on your life, if you feel you are experiencing a complication from the flu, visit any of our two locations as soon as possible.
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