What to look for if mild flu symptoms become an emergency

As news of flu deaths spread, here are some warning signs that the illness has gotten very serious.

If you are mildly ill with the flu, there’s no need to go to the emergency room. You can visit a Norton Immediate Care Center, see your health provider or schedule a Norton eCare visit.

If you have the flu, your health provider will give you a plan to get better. It will include staying home and avoiding contact with others except to get medical treatment. Antiviral medication is most helpful if started within two days of the start of symptoms.

Young children, people 65 and older, pregnant women and people with certain medical conditions are at high risk for serious flu complications.

If you have the following emergency warning signs of flu, go to an emergency room.

Flu emergency warning signs from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Fever with a rash


Norton Healthcare emergency departments

In addition to the signs above, get medical help right away for an infant with any of these signs:

  • Unable to feed
  • Trouble breathing
  • No tears when crying
  • Significantly fewer wet diapers than normal


  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough