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At this point, you have probably heard plenty of worrying facts about this year’s flu season. While the period between October and April has always been known as a time people are likely to get sick, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that the number of influenza cases currently qualifies as an epidemic. To make matters worse, many communities are also experiencing waves of the common cold and allergies. Fortunately, most doctors say that unless you are at risk of developing complications from one of these conditions, you should be able to treat all three with rest and the help of an urgent care center. But what are these complications? How do you know if you are experiencing something that is too much for doctors at your local urgent care clinic?

The flu is most commonly characterized by a fever, cough, sore throat, a congested or runny nose, headaches or body aches, chills, and nausea or vomiting. The latter most often affects children, a fact parents should take note of, as the very young are more likely to develop complications than adults. The elderly and those with compromised immune systems also have an increased risk of developing complications.However, if you are an otherwise healthy adult, you will likely be able to treat your illness with medications like Tamiflu. Because of the risk of spreading the sickness, people with the flu are also advised to stay home, rest and stay hydrated.

If you or a loved one has the flu, watch out for some signs that the condition is worsening instead of getting better. For example, difficulty breathing or wheezing and persistent vomiting could both be the sign of a serious problem, such as an infection. Likewise, if symptoms last longer than seven days, make an appointment to talk to doctors at a local clinic or hospital. If other strange symptoms occur, it is usually better to err on the side of caution and seek help; no one wants to wish in hindsight that they had sought emergency room care. Find out more here.