Not usually. Influenza, the flu, is a highly contagious viral infection of the respiratory system. It spreads through fluids produced when someone talks, coughs, or sneezes.
The CDC recommends that children and teenagers under the age of 18 years who have the flu or suspected flu should not be given aspirin (Acetylsalicylic acid) or any other salicylate products like Pepto Bismol™, due to the risk of developing a rare, serious complication called Reye’s Syndrome.
Although it resembles the common cold, the flu is caused by different viruses and can result in severe symptoms that appear suddenly and last for one or two weeks.
While it is not typically an emergency, untreated flu symptoms can result in pneumonia and inflammation of the brain or heart, so it is wise to seek treatment from your doctor or an urgent care facility if you have more than a mild case or you are in a high-risk group.
If your symptoms are mild, stay home. Remain at home until 24 hours have elapsed without fever or fever-reducing medication. If you are worried about your symptoms, don’t hesitate to call your healthcare provider.