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Memphis News & Weather | Memphis, TN | WATN - localmemphis.com

When should you go to the doctor if you have flu-like symptoms?

Flu symptoms can be different from person to person. Some people may have it and not even know it. Yet, they are spreading the virus. The flu can be deadly.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – Flu symptoms can be different from person to person. Some people may have it and not even know it. Yet, they are spreading the virus. The flu can be deadly.

This week, we spoke with several doctors and the Shelby County Health Department who say the flu should not be taken lightly.

“It’s a serious issue in the U-S and something that people need to pay attention to,” said Dr. Michael Threlkeld, Baptist Memorial Health Care Infectious Disease Physician.

Think about West Collierville Middle School. Hundreds of students were home from school with the virus or flu-like symptoms.

If you find yourself coming down with the virus, Dr. Dale Criner, Medical Director of Saint Francis Hospital in Barlett, has a few questions you can ask yourself.

“Do you have chest pain? Do you have shortness of breath? Are you able to keep fluids down? Are you vomiting so much that you are not able to keep yourself hydrated,” said Dr. Criner.

If the answers are yes, it is time to see a doctor.

“If you get better, then all of sudden you get worse again when that happens you have to worry about things like pneumonia may have occurred,” said Dr. Criner.

Then, again, it is time to see a doctor. The flu can also be severe for those with pre-existing conditions.

“Diabetes or emphysema or COPD, if you’re a cancer patient, if you’re immunocompromised, if you’re a young child, if it’s two years of age or less, if you’re elderly,” said Dr. Criner.

Doctors can prescribe medications to treat symptoms such as tamiflu.

“If you start taking it right away, it has been shown to possibly decrease the duration of the illness and the severity. You also have to weigh in mind that all medications have side effects,” said Dr. Criner.

Studies have shown that home remedies such as elderberry are helpful with symptoms. Doctors recommend only getting medication that has gone through preparation and tests such as that from a drugstore. Honey is also helpful for coughs and sore throats.