Look Out for Emergency Warning Signs

There are some "emergency warning signs" that require urgent medical attention. 

In children, some emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

  • High or prolonged fever
  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Changes in mental status, such as not waking up or not interacting; being so irritable that the child does not want to be held; or seizures
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions (for example, heart or lung disease, diabetes)

In adults, some emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

  • High or prolonged fever
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest
  • Near-fainting or fainting
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting

Seek medical care immediately, either by calling your doctor or going to an emergency room, if you experience any of these emergency warning signs or other unusually severe symptoms. When you arrive, tell the receptionist or nurse about your symptoms. You may be asked to wear a mask and/or sit in a separate area to protect others from getting sick.

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