Flu: when to visit your doctor

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Do you have the flu? Consult your doctor:

  • If you have a high fever for more than a few hours that doesn’t respond to over-the-counter medicine, and you aren’t certain whether the fever is due to the flu, it’s a good idea to see a healthcare professional for an opinion.
  • If your fever lasts longer than two days.
  • If you feel sick and just don't seem to get better.
  • If you have a cough that begins to produce phlegm.
  • Any sign of complications of flu should prompt a visit to a healthcare professional. 
  • If you have difficulty breathing or feel a sharp pain when breathing.
  • If you fall into any of the high-risk categories recommended for vaccination, even a mild bout of flu should be treated by a health professional. This includes people with cancer, people on medication after organ transplantation and HIV-positive people.

Reviewed by Cape Town-based general practitioner, Dr Dalia Hack. March 2019.

Read more:

- Flu risk factors

- How is the flu diagnosed?

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