What should I do if I have flu symptoms?
Not all patients with suspected influenza need to be seen by a healthcare provider at The Everett Clinic. If there are no underlying chronic health conditions you can usually treat yourself or your child at home by getting plenty of rest and drinking lots of fluids. You most likely do not need to see a healthcare provider if:
- You are age 5 to 65 years
- You have no chronic medical illness
- Your fever has lasted less than 4 days
- You are not having difficulty breathing
- You have no mental confusion or difficulty thinking
- Your skin color is normal
- You are not dizzy
- You are not vomiting
When should I see a doctor?
- Fever greater than 100.4-degrees that’s lasted more than four days (fevers may be intermittent)
- Fever that went away but has returned two or more days later
- Coughing up mucus tinged with blood
- Rattling chest sounds when taking a deep breath
- Fainting spells, dizziness and/or severe dry mouth
- Urinating less (or babies have less than three wet diapers per 24 hours or
- Pregnant women should seek immediate care if flu symptoms are present, rather than making an appointment at an OB office
- People younger than age 5 or older than age 65
- People with chronic medical illness (such as diabetes, COPD, heart failure, cancer, etc.) and others in a high-risk group for complications from the flu
Call your provider’s office to speak with our nurses if you have questions about whether you need to see a provider in person. They can make an appointment with your primary care doctor or one of their partners, who may be able to see you today or refer you to our one of our convenient Walk-In Clinics.
If you leave the house to seek medical attention, wear a facemask if available. A healthcare provider can determine whether flu testing or treatment is needed. Antiviral drugs can treat those who are seriously ill.
When should I call 911 or be seen at an emergency room?
Seek emergency medical attention if you are experiencing any of the following:
- Fast breathing or trouble breathing
- Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
- Bluish or gray skin color
- Severe or persistent vomiting
- Not waking up or not interacting
- Sudden dizziness
- Unable to talk in full sentences
- Children who are so irritable that they do not want to be held
How can I protect myself and my family from getting the flu?
Get a flu shot! Also, wash your hands, don't touch your face and stay away from people who are sick. If you do get sick, stay home so you don't pass it on and always cover your cough.
Who should get a flu shot?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months and older get a flu shot. It’s especially important that the following groups get vaccinated either because they are at high risk of having serious flu-related complications or because they live or care for people at high risk. High-risk individuals include:
- Women who are pregnant
- Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
- People 50 years of age and older
- People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions
- People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
- People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including:
- Healthcare workers
- Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu
- Household contacts and out of home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated)
Who should not get a flu shot?
The following people should not get a flu vaccine without consulting a physician:
- People who have had a severe reaction to an influenza vaccination.
- People who developed Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) within 6 weeks of getting an influenza vaccine.
- Children less than 6 months of age (influenza vaccine is not approved for this age group), and
- People who have a moderate-to-severe illness with a fever (they should wait until they recover to get vaccinated.)
Can I get the nasal-spray flu vaccine?
The Everett Clinic will not have the nasal-spray flu vaccine (such as, FluMist) available for 2020, however, it may be available at other local clinics or pharmacies.
What are the vaccine’s side effects?
The viruses in the flu shot are killed (inactivated), so you cannot get the flu from a flu shot. Some minor side effects that could occur are:
- Soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given
- Fever (low grade)
If these problems occur, they begin soon after the shot and usually last 1 to 2 days. Almost all people who receive influenza vaccine have no serious problems from it. However, on rare occasions, flu vaccination can cause serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions.
How much will flu shots cost?
Most flu vaccines are covered by health insurance. To see the most up-to-date information on flu vaccines prices, visit the vaccination pricing page.