Sick with the flu: When should you see a doctor?

QUAD CITIES (KWQC) - As the number of flu deaths continues to rise across the U.S., some parents are concerned about when to take their children to the doctor.

Health officials say a trip to the emergency room is not always necessary.

Dr. Bill Langley with Genesis Hospital says symptoms to watch for include shortness of breath and deliriousness in adults and lethargy or extreme tiredness and breathing issues in children.

"Fever, per se, just by itself, is part of any profession. It's a reflection that there's a battle going on in the body, and it will always take more than a fever to impress a doctor. Not to sound like that's a patients job. But a fever alone just comes with the territory. But those other things -- behavioral changes, shortness of breath -- especially in kids or older people, are red flags," said Dr. Langley.

Officials with the emergency department at Genesis say about 25-percent of traffic in-and-out of the local hospitals is currently flu-related.