Influenza, commonly known as the flu, a type of viral infection that occurs in the nose, throat, and lungs (the respiratory tract). In many cases, the flu virus can be treated effectively with rest, fluids, and over-the-counter medications. However, severe flu can lead to life-threatening complications if left untreated.
If you are experiencing flu symptoms in Central California, get the care you deserve and Find a Doctor today. As part of our emergency services, Dignity Health Central California provides personal care for all types of infections, including influenza.
The symptoms of the flu typically come on quickly and may include:
- Body aches
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
If not treated promptly, the flu virus can lead to further complications, such as bronchitis, sinus infections, and pneumonia. If you or a loved one has any of these symptoms, meet with a doctor at Dignity Health Central California for diagnosis and personal care at a location near you:
If you need to go to the ER, use our InQuicker online tool to select your estimated hospital arrival time and wait at home until your time to be seen.
The flu is highly contagious and spreads easily through sneezing, coughing, or talking. It can also spread by touching any object that is contaminated with the virus and then touching your mouth or nose.
The following risk factors increase the likelihood of getting the flu:
- Age 65 and older
- Being morbidly obese
- Having a weakened immune system
- Children under ages five, but especially those under two years of age
- Living in a nursing home or other long-term care facility
- Having a chronic medical condition, such as asthma, heart disease, or diabetes
Persons in these above-mentioned categories should seek immediate medical care if they develop symptoms of the flu.
Personalized Flu Treatment at Dignity Health Central California
Our ER doctors, nurses, and support staff work quickly to diagnose and treat cases of the flu. Initial treatment for milder cases usually focuses on bedrest, drinking plenty of water, and taking over-the-counter medicine to ease symptoms. For more severe flu symptoms, our doctors may recommend antiviral medication. These are best taken early on (within 48 hours of getting sick), when the infection is easier to fight.
For more information about preventing influenza, talk with a Dignity Health Central California doctor about the flu vaccine.
As part of our emergency services, Dignity Health Central California offers complete flu treatment in Bakersfield, Merced, San Andreas, and Stockton, CA.