When Is the Flu an EmergencyThe flu is actually a much more dangerous virus than most people realize. It can cause death and permanent damage to the body in certain situations. It can also trigger other conditions or infections. The flu can require professional medical treatment in order to prevent these outcomes. It is important to know when the flu is an emergency.

Breathing Problems or Coughing Up Blood

The flu is an emergency if you are having breathing problems or coughing up blood. Difficulty breathing could mean constantly feeling out of breath, wheezing or shallow breathing. These are all signs that you might have developed pneumonia or have a respiratory infection. Both problems are incredibly dangerous. You should seek help right away if breathing becomes a problem.

Chest Pain or Heart Palpitations

Chest pain or heart palpitations are two more signs the flu is an emergency. Chest pain can occur suddenly and will not go away. It might rise and fade in intensity although it will persist. Heart palpitations mean the beating of your heart is no longer consistent. Your heart could speed up or slow down causing an inconsistent rhythm. These are signs the tissue around your heart might have become infected. You need immediate medical treatment in this case.

High Persistent Fever

Although a fever is frequently part of the flu, it should not last for very long. If you have a very high fever above 102 degrees Fahrenheit for more than two or three days, then you should get to a hospital immediately. This can be a sign of any number of problems with your body, brain and internal organs.

Severe Vomiting

Severe vomiting means that you are throwing up regularly for no apparent reason. You might actually start vomiting bile at one point if you have nothing left in your stomach. Severe vomiting can be a sign that you have an infection or other problem. It also dehydrates you quickly potentially leading to a range of dangerous issues.

Delirium or Confusion

The flu has become an emergency if delirium or confusion develops. Confusion means you are having trouble understanding what is going on around you. You might have problems speaking, seeing or performing normal tasks. This can be a sign that you have developed Reye’s syndrome, pneumonia or an infection in the lining of your brain. You must get medical attention fast if this happens.

Symptoms Last for Over Ten Days

The flu has a limited lifespan within the body. Something indicating that the flu is now an emergency is serious symptoms that last for over ten days. If your flu has not gone away or diminished significantly by this point, then something else could be happening in your body. You might even have pneumonia. Get to a doctor quickly.


A clear sign that the flu is an emergency is if you start to have convulsions. This means you are shaking uncontrollably or lose control of your body for short periods of time. Convulsions another symptom of Reye’s syndrome and some other issues that could accompany the flu. Go to a hospital as soon as possible after the first convulsion.