The flu is a very common disease. And the swine flu threatens to become common as well.
It is important that you recognize when you need emergency medical care and when you don’t, or you will be clogging the system. And if people are clogging the system, when you really need emergency care you won’t get it in time.
Swine Flu vs Normal Flu
The symptoms of the swine flu are the same as with the normal flu: fever, sore throat, runny nose, body aches…
The main difference may be in the intensity of the symptoms and in the appearance of symptoms different from those you usually have when you have the flu (for example, diarrhea if you usually don’t have it when with the flu).
The main complication of the flu is pneumonia. Pneumonia happens by bacterial proliferation inside your lungs. These bacteria, along with the dead remains of your own cells, clog the alveoli and stop oxygen from reaching the blood.
This causes breathlessness which, along with pallor, fast heart pace and short breath should prompt you to search for emergency medical care as soon as possible.
Pneumonia is a serious disease that kills hundreds of thousands of people per year, so you should respect it.
Another important symptom is nausea, especially if accompanied by vomiting. This can also lead to dehydration and any sign of dehydration is another indication to seek emergency care: dizziness, absence of urination, lack of tears when crying.
Seizures should prompt you to seek emergency care in any situation, but especially so in the flu. They can signal that the brain is being affected somehow, which is a serious matter because brain lesions do not recover.
Finally, in children you want to look for specific signs: unresponsiveness, confusion, lack of tears when crying, intolerance to any type of food, and not wanting to play are all serious signs.
There is no need to rush to the ER as soon as you detect a runny nose. However, if you or someone you know experiences any of these symptoms, you should seek emergency medical care.
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