Epidemic influenza : emergency rooms are overwhelmed, when is it really necessary to go there ?

Health 31 December, 2017


Published the 30.12.2017 to 19h46


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No region of France is not spared by the flu epidemic currently, with the exception of Corsica. Emergencies are taken over by the patients, pushing the public hospitals of paris (AP-HP) to activate the level 2 of the epidemic for the winter.
To avoid the overloading of hospital services, therefore, it is important to know the symptoms of the flu, and know when it is really important to go to the emergency room.

Recognize the influenza

The first symptom of flu is fever. Usually, it comes on suddenly. It can also be high, between 38 and 40 degrees.
The fever does not come alone. It is accompanied with chills, body aches, headache, and a very strong fatigue.
In other words, the flu pins you to the bed. And this, in general, for seven days. The time to heal.

When to see a doctor ?

The appearance of these symptoms, it is not necessary to rush to the hospital or to the doctor. Encourage a visit to the doctor if it is an infant, if you are pregnant or over 65 years of age, or in the case of chronic illness (diabetes, heart failure, respiratory or renal…)
It is also necessary to see if there is a sudden aggravation, and in the absence of improvement after 72 h.

When to go to the emergency room ?

On the other hand, it is necessary to go directly to the emergency if the flu seems to be very aggressive with a high fever over 40°C or poorly supported, and in cases of uncharacteristic signs : shortness of breath at rest or difficulty breathing, productive cough with expectoration of pus-like appearance, an oppression at the chest, serious difficulties to move, the neck very stiff, a feeling of confusion, convulsions.
Even if it is not necessary to go to the emergency room ” for nothing “, the flu is obviously not a disease to be taken lightly.

According to an estimate of the health authorities, in the last year, the epidemic claimed approximately 14 000 deaths, mostly among young children, the elderly, and the sick, of which more than half was not vaccinated.