Do Your Cold or Flu Symptoms Say ‘Go to the Doctor?’

Health Minute

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Deciding whether or not to make a trip to see your doctor when you have cold or flu symptoms can sometimes seem confusing.

While with most cases of a cold or the flu, you don’t need to see a doctor, there are some symptoms that are a definite reason to call your physician, according to the American Academy of Family PhysiciansOff Site Icon (AAFP).

For children, the AAFP recommends calling a doctor if symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Bluish skin tone
  • Chronic medical concern that gets worse
  • Earache or ear drainage
  • Fever of 103 degrees or a fever that lasts more than three days
  • Improving symptoms that improve then come back with a fever and worse cough
  • Irritability, excessive tiredness or seizures
  • Symptoms that last more than 10 days
  • Trouble breathing or wheezing
  • Vomiting

For adults, the AAFP says to call a doctor if symptoms include:

  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Fainting or feeling faint
  • Fever of 102 or above with achiness and fatigue
  • Severe sinus pain in the face and forehead
  • Symptoms that last more than 10 days or get worse
  • Trouble breathing
  • Very swollen neck or jaw glands
  • Vomiting that is severe or persists

Battling a cold or the flu can be a challenge with the typical symptoms, but when the symptoms last a long time or get more severe, like those listed here, it’s important to let your doctor step in.

For more information about when to see a doctor for a cold or the flu, talk with your doctor or visit us online to find a physician.

It's easy to get the care you need.

See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.