When should I visit urgent care for seasonal illnesses?

January 31, 2024

When To Seek Treatment For Seasonal Illness Symptoms

Seasonal illnesses like colds and flu are really common with the changing weather. Flu and cold are often confused, though they are different illnesses. While flu is caused by the influenza virus, colds can be caused by a number of viruses and are spread more rapidly. Flu can have more severe symptoms than flu. It is customary to get a flu shot every year. If not treated on time, colds and flu can have serious complications requiring a visit to the provider.

Reasons to See a Provider

Here are some of the most common reasons to see a provider when you have a seasonal flu or cold are as follows.

  • Breathing Problems: Colds and flu can result in congestion, which may cause breathing difficulties. This may include fast or labored breathing, dizziness and confusion, severe weakness, coughing up blood, or persistent chest pain.
  • Fever that Won’t Come Down: Fevers are the body’s normal response to a virus. A low-grade fever helps the body fight infection. If the fever is above 102 F and lasts longer than 2 days, see a provider.
  • Sore Throat: Sore throat is common with colds and flu and usually resolves on its own. However, a severe sore throat could be caused by a strep throat infection, which responds to antibiotics. Contact a provider if it hurts to swallow, and you find it difficult to eat or drink, have difficulty breathing while sleeping or have a fever over 104 F with a red rash.  
  • Lingering Cough: Contact a provider if you have congestion and cough that does not improve after 10 days, as it can indicate a secondary infection like sinusitis, acute bronchitis or pneumonia. 
  • Ear Pain: It is also time to visit a provider if your ear pain does not respond to Advil, Tylenol or home treatment or is accompanied by swelling, facial twitching, high fever or severe headache.  
  • Stomach Pain: Persistent and severe stomach pain with cold and flu can be caused by H1N1-type influenza. This can cause stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea. 

If you are experiencing the symptoms listed above visit AFC Urgent Care in Lakewood CO today. To save time you can pre-register online.

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