Urgent Care – Flu Symptoms

Influenza, commonly referred to as the flu, is a contagious viral respiratory illness. The illness can cause mild to severe symptoms. Severe influenza cases can result in hospitalization and even death. Although they are both respiratory illnesses caused by a virus, your symptoms are the easiest way to tell the difference between a common cold and the flu. The flu can easily be transferred from person to person when infected individuals spread tiny droplets of bodily fluid when they cough, sneeze, or talk. Infected individuals are contagious starting one day before symptoms develop and up to five to seven days after. 

Since the influenza virus can be life-threatening in severe cases, it’s essential to be seen and treated by a doctor if you suspect you have the flu. Our team of board-certified medical professionals is here to analyze your symptoms and diagnose your condition. Whether you need to be seen after regular doctor’s office hours or want quick, attentive treatment, you can stop by our urgent care facility seven days a week for medical care. 

Common Symptoms of the Flu

If you have the flu, you might experience some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Fever above 100°F
  • Severe body aches in the muscles and joints
  • Weakness or severe fatigue
  • Dry, hacking cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Headaches
  • Chills
  • Red, watery eyes
  • Warm, flushed skin
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea is most common in children

Flu symptoms come on suddenly. Active flu strains vary from year to year, but influenza A and B are the most common types. Certain people may be at a higher risk of contracting the flu virus, especially:

  • Children younger than five, especially those under two
  • Adults 65 and older
  • Pregnant women
  • Individuals with weakened immune systems or autoimmune disease
  • Individuals with chronic illnesses, especially asthma, heart disease, and diabetes

Flu Treatment Options

The best way to handle the influenza virus is through preventative measures. The CDC recommends all individuals get a flu vaccine each year to reduce flu-related illness and the risk of serious complications. In addition to getting your flu shot annually, you can prevent the flu by:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Covering coughs and sneezes
  • Frequently washing your hands
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth
  • Practice good health habits at home 
    • Keep frequently touched surfaces clean
    • Get plenty of sleep
    • Be physically active
    • Manage stress
    • Drink plenty of fluids
    • Follow a healthy diet

If you contract the flu virus despite following these preventative measures, make an appointment with University Urgent Care in Fort Worth, Texas, or with your local healthcare provider. 

If you are at a higher risk of complications or have a more severe case of the flu, your doctor might prescribe an antiviral medication. While these medications don’t cure symptoms, they can minimize the length of your illness when taken within 48 hours of the start of your symptoms. Tamiflu, Xofluza, Rapivab, and Relenza are examples of prescription flu medication that can cut your illness short. 

When to Visit the Nearest Urgent Care for Your Flu Symptoms

Complications of the flu include:

  • Sinus infections
  • Ear infections
  • Inflammation of the heart, brain, or muscle tissues
  • Pneumonia
  • Multi-organ failure
  • Sepsis
  • Worsening of chronic illnesses
  • Death

If you experience any of the following emergency warning signs of the flu, visit the nearest urgent care facility or call 9-1-1:

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Bluish lips or face
  • Chest pain
  • Severe muscle pain that makes it difficult to walk
  • Signs of dehydration, such as:
    • Little to no urine output
    • Dry mouth
    • No tears when crying
    • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Inability to arouse
  • Fever above 104°F
  • Any fever in children less than 12 weeks old
  • Worsening of chronic medical conditions
  • Seizures
  • Severe weakness or fatigue

For more information, visit University Urgent Care for medical evaluation and treatment options for the flu. Our team of board-certified nurse practitioners provides a full range of urgent care services for the entire Fort Worth community. Contact us seven days a week at (817) 439-9539 to schedule an appointment or stop by our facility for fast, convenient, and quality care.