How to know when to seek treatment for flu
The 2018 influenza season is shaping up to be far worse than most years, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates tens of thousands of people will die from influenza this year, including dozens of children.
Many of those deaths are expected to happen because people won't seek medical help soon enough.
"Fever, muscle aches, respiratory illness this is pretty classic for influenza," says Dr. Pritish Tosh, a Mayo Clinic infectious diseases specialist.
Tosh agrees with the CDC's assessment that the 2018 influenza epidemic is the worst in at least a decade, and millions of Americans will suffer with influenza symptoms.
And knowing when to see a health care provider and when to stay home can be tricky.
Urgent care and emergency departments across the country end up flooded with patients, many of whom don't need to be there.
"It makes it a lot harder for those folks who do need to be seen to get in on time," Tosh says.