When to go to Urgent Care for Cold and Flu Symptoms
When you don’t have any energy, feel bad all over, and have a sore throat, dry cough, and stuffy nose. You may also have chills and body aches. Colds are much more common than influenza but tend to be more severe with flu. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that if you think you might have influenza or another serious respiratory illness that requires immediate medical attention, such as pneumonia or croup; if your symptoms are getting worse or not improving; or if you are at higher risk of complications from flu (such as pregnant women or those who live with people at high risk of serious flu complications), see your doctor immediately without going to an urgent care center first.
When you have a cold, there’s no question that you should be resting and drinking plenty of fluids. But when is it time to go to urgent care? If your symptoms are especially severe, you can definitely head straight over without a second thought. Here are some signs that it may be time
If you have had a cold or flu that lasted over seven days, you should see your primary care doctor. He/she will be able to discuss treatment options. If you are coughing up green or yellow mucus (or if it is streaked with blood), feel very weak, and have a fever greater than 101 degrees, then visit an urgent care clinic or emergency room immediately. They will be able to start antibiotics in order to prevent any further damage. Signs of pneumonia include chest pain and difficulty breathing. This can rapidly become life-threatening if not treated with antibiotics within two days. If your cough has been present for 10 days or longer without any improvement, see your doctor at once.
You know that cold or flu that’s just not going away? At what point should you head to urgent care for help? If your cold symptoms include a high fever (over 101 degrees), sore throat, extreme fatigue, rapid heartbeat, trouble breathing or chest pain, call your doctor. These are signs of a bacterial infection (known as bacterial pneumonia) and they require immediate treatment. However, these symptoms don’t always mean it’s time to head to urgent care. Your best bet is to follow common sense—if you have a runny nose and congestion but otherwise feel fine, there’s no need to go in.