Flu Season is in full swing

Flu Season

>> Dr. Nazha Abughali quoted in Plain Dealer about the current flu status (03/19/19)

Last winter, the flu killed 80,000 Americans, the highest total in at least 40 years.

While young children, the elderly, pregnant women and people with chronic conditions are most at risk, the flu can send anyone, of any age, to the emergency room. That’s what makes it so scary.

“We all need to respect the flu and first do what we can to prevent it,” says Charles Emerman, MD, chairman of MetroHealth Department of Emergency Medicine.

We can do that, he says, by:

  • Getting a flu shot
  • Washing our hands
  • Keeping our hands away from our eyes, nose and mouth
  • Staying away from sick people

If you think you might be getting sick with the flu, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others. Check with your primary care doctor, who might be able to prescribe you antiviral drugs that can reduce the severity and length of the illness.

“Don’t mess around with the flu,” says Dr. Emerman. “If symptoms seem worse than normal, listen to your instincts.”

Typical flu symptoms include fever/chills, cough, sore throat, runny nose, headache or body ache, or fatigue. While most cases of the flu do not require emergency care, recognize the signs and symptoms of dangerous flu complications.

Go to the Emergency Room immediately if you have any of the following symptoms:


  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Chest or abdominal pain
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Flu-like symptoms that seem to improve but return with fever and a bad cough
  • Swelling in the mouth or throat
  • Unusual weakness


  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Trouble waking up or interacting with others
  • Flu-like symptoms that seem to improve but return with fever and a bad cough
  • Fever with a rash


  • Any of the above symptoms
  • Refusing to eat
  • Trouble breathing
  • Crying without tears
  • Significantly fewer wet diapers than normal

MetroHealth remains the region’s most respected leader in emergency care, and now that care is closer to home. MetroHealth has four Emergency Rooms, in Cleveland Heights, Parma, Brecksville and at our Main Campus on West 25th Street.