Is It The Flu Or Cedar Fever?

Is It The Flu Or Cedar Fever?

If you’ve been sniffling, sneezing and coughing the past few weeks you’re not alone! Not only is it flu season, it’s also cedar season in Texas. Learn how to spot the signs of seasonal winter allergies and how to tell the difference between them and the flu.

Seasonal Flu Symptoms

While seasonal influenza (flu) viruses can be detected year-round in the United States, flu viruses are most common during the fall and winter. According to the CDC, flu infections tend to spike after the holiday season and can extend through March.

Medical Director Dr. Greg Hadden says, “We are in the middle of flu season and we are seeing a lot of people who are sick and suffering. The CDC just announced that this year’s flu season is turning out to be worse than last year’s. The good news is that this year’s vaccine is a good match for the dominant strains of flu that are circulating. The bad news is that currently only about 40% of Americans have gotten the flu shot this year; which may be why we are seeing so many flu patients turning up in the emergency room.”

Symptoms of the flu include fever, chills, muscle aches, cough, congestion, runny nose, headaches, and fatigue. Because the flu can often last for a week or longer, complications can arise as a result of the illness including pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma flare-ups and more.

When To Seek Emergency Care

While most people who get the flu can treat themselves at home, there are times when you should seek emergency medical care. If you or your child have any of the following symptoms or are at risk of complications get medical care immediately:

  • Coughing up blood or green-tinged mucus
  • Trouble breathing, shortness of breath, or rapid breathing
  • Pain or pressure in the chest
  • Confusion
  • Bluish-colored lips or nails
  • High fever
  • Convulsions from fever (this usually affects children)
  • Fever or cough that becomes severe or won’t go away

Cedar Fever Symptoms

Cedar is notorious for being one of Texas’ worst allergens but could be worse this year due to the amount of rain local areas received in 2016 which spurred cedar tree growth and more pollen. Typically, cedar season starts in mid-December and can last through March.

Symptoms of cedar fever or cedar allergies include runny nose, itchy and watery eyes, sneezing, congestion, headache and sore throat. Although it’s in the name, most people who experience cedar fever don’t actually run a fever but may feel “flushed” due to the allergic reaction.

When To Seek Emergency Care

While most people with cedar fever or cedar allergies can use over-the-counter antihistamines, eye drops and nasal sprays to reduce symptoms and ease comfort, if symptoms persist they may lead to a sinus infection and can worsen other health issues like asthma. If you or your child have any of the following symptoms or are at risk of complications, seek medical care immediately:

  • Trouble breathing, shortness of breath, or rapid breathing
  • Constriction of airways and a swollen tongue or throat
  • Pain or pressure in the chest
  • Confusion
  • Skin reactions including hives and itching

About Five Star ER

Five Star ER is locally owned and operated by the physicians of Emergency Service Partners, L.P., a respected provider of emergency physician services to hospitals and health systems across Texas for more than 28 years. Our experienced physicians bring their excellent tradition of emergency care to a first-class, patient-centered freestanding ER.

Our patient-centered care means you will come first. Our freestanding ER provides the capabilities of a hospital emergency department, without the hassles and long waits that can be part of a hospital ER. From the comfortable lounge area and private exam rooms to our top-notch medical team and latest technology, patients can be door-to-doctor in less than 15 minutes. To find the location nearest you, click here.

This content was created to be purely educational in nature. This post is not meant to be used as a substitute for medical treatment or personal consultation regarding a medical condition. As always, if you or a loved one is suffering a life-threatening medical emergency or injury, call 911.