Do I need to go to the ER for Severe Cold or Flu?

Almost everyone has had the sniffles. Sometimes, other symptoms follow and the discomfort becomes so severe, you are incapacitated, unable to function at work, school, or home. You wonder if you will get well on your own in a few days or if you should go to the Emergency Room for treatment.

No matter how sick you feel, you want to avoid a long wait at the ER. In most cases, you will get better with over-the-counter cold and flu medications and drinking a lot of fluids, but there are also times you need urgent medical care available at the emergency room.

We Have Top-Notch Facilities.

We have state-of-the-art facilities that are equipped with the latest technology. This allows us to provide the best possible care for our patients. We are happy to serve all of our neighbors living in Morningside Place, Southampton, Southgate, Old Braeswood, Braeswood Place, Sunset Terrace, Montclair, Greenbriar and Knollwood Village, Upper Kirby, and River Oaks.

Why Choose Rice ER?

Within minutes of arriving at Rice ER, you’ll be seen and treated by one of our caring Emergency Physicians. No more long wait times.

Insurance Coverage

Rice Emergency Room accepts all commercial insurances. We also offer medical screening examinations to evaluate all patients with a medical emergency.

Billing Questions

Rice ER practices no surprise billing. We bill your insurance directly. Our goal is to prevent unexpected charges. We work with you as an advocate.

Tell Us You’re Coming

Average wait times are less than ten minutes.

How to tell if you Need to Go An ER for your Cold and Flu Symptoms 

When you decide an ER visit is necessary, but you don’t want to wait for hours at a big hospital ER, you can get the care you need without the wait time at the stand-alone Rice ER, located in the Rice Village/West University area of Houston, Texas. You can check-in online to ensure you see a doctor as soon as possible. At Rice Emergency Room, you get the urgent medical care you need without the wait time of a big hospital ER. 

How to Tell the Difference Between a Cold and the Flu

Although the symptoms are similar, and both are contagious respiratory diseases, they are caused by different viruses. Since the symptoms are similar, it is difficult to tell the difference between the two.

Signs and symptoms of a cold come on gradually and include:

Signs and symptoms of the flu appear abruptly and include:

In most cases, colds and flu symptoms generally resolve on their own within 5–10 days. Symptoms are treated with over-the-counter medications like Tylenol (acetaminophen), Motrin or Advil (ibuprofen). These reduce body aches and should bring down your fever. 

There are times though when an ER visit is highly recommended.

When to go to the Emergency Room for My Cold or Flu Symptoms

Signs and symptoms indicating that you need to go to an ER

If your cold or flu symptoms get worse, and particularly if you find you have difficulty catching your breath or sleeping, you need treatment. Viral infections such as colds and flu can lead to pneumonia or bronchitis.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should go to the ER:

Special situations may indicate a visit to the ER is warranted. These include:

Rice ER Capabilities, Staff Expertise, and Short Wait Times

Once you have decided an ER visit is necessary, consider seeking treatment at the full-service, stand-alone Rice ER instead of a hospital-based ER. The Rice ER is open 24-hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year. The ER provides all the same services available at a hospital-based ER but with a much shorter waiting period.

Rice ER is fully staffed with board-certified physicians and specially trained registered nurses. Treatment is provided for both adults and children.

The short wait time is what makes Rice different from traditional hospital ERs, which have a reputation for long, sometimes hours, wait times. Patients sit in uncomfortable waiting rooms while they wait to be seen, and then wait again for test results.

Rice you will speak to a board-certified physician within minutes of your arrival. Rice ER has all the necessary diagnostic tools, including imaging to find fluid on the lungs and laboratory testing to determine if you have influenza. The quick test results at Rice Emergency Room mean you can get treatmet and be on your way to recovery sooner.

Treatment and treatment plans are provided for you by board-certified doctors and specially trained registered nurses.  If you need to be hospitalized, Rice ER has arrangements with local hospitals so you can be transported to a hospital and taken straight to your hospital bed without needing to go through the hospital’s ER.


24/7 – 365 DAYS

Do You Have A Medical Question? Call now to speak with one of our board certified emergency physicians or use our online  check-in below.

If this is a medical emergency call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.