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Part 2: Because You Asked: H1N1

By: Skylar Zwick
By: Skylar Zwick

With the help of Flu.gov, I've broken down, virtually, everything you ever wanted to know, and more, about H1N1 symptoms, warning signs and at-home treatments, because you asked.

 

 

First, the symptoms:
 
Fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting. In the past, severe illness (pneumonia and respiratory failure) and deaths have been reported. Like seasonal flu, H1N1 (swine) flu may cause a worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions.
 
Second the emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention:
Children:
·                     Fast breathing or trouble breathing
·                     Bluish or gray skin color
·                     Not drinking enough fluids
·                     Severe or persistent vomiting
·                     Not waking up or not interacting
·                     Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
·                     Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
Adults:
·                     Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
·                     Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
·                     Sudden dizziness
·                     Confusion
·                     Severe or persistent vomiting
·                     Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
 
Finally, how do you protect yourself and your loved ones? Check out these guidelines.
·                     Think about getting vaccinated against the seasonal flu, H1N1 and pneumonia
·                     Wash hands frequently with soap and water.
·                     Cover your cough or sneeze.
·                     Put used tissues in a wastebasket.
·                     Cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve if you don't have a tissue.
·                     Clean your hands after coughing or sneezing. Use soap and water or an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
·                     Stay at home if you are sick.
 
According to Flu.gov, people with H1N1 swine flu who are cared for at home should:
·                     Check with their health care provider about any special care they might need if they are pregnant or have a health condition such as diabetes, heart disease, asthma, or emphysema
·                     Check with their health care provider about whether they should take antiviral medications
·                     Stay home for 7 days after your symptoms begin or until you have been symptom-free for 24 hours, whichever is longer
·                     Get plenty of rest
·                     Drink clear fluids (such as water, broth, sports drinks, electrolyte beverages for infants) to keep from being dehydrated
·                     Cover coughs and sneezes. Clean hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub often and especially after using tissues and after coughing or sneezing into hands.
·                     Avoid close contact with others – do not go to work or school while ill
·                     Be watchful for emergency warning signs (see above) that might indicate you need to seek medical attention
 
When providing care to a household member who is sick with influenza, the most important ways to protect yourself and others who are not sick are to:
·                     Keep the sick person away from other people as much as possible (see “placement of the sick person”)
·                     Remind the sick person to cover their coughs, and clean their hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub often, especially after coughing and/or sneezing.
·                     Have everyone in the household clean their hands often, using soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub
·                     Ask your healthcare provider if household contacts of the sick person—particularly those contacts who may have chronic health conditions—should take antiviral medications such as oseltamivir (Tamiflu®) or zanamivir (Relenza®) to prevent the flu.
 
 

 

Let’s get to the “nitty-gritty” of H1N1. Doctors are telling us that some 90% of all flu-like symptoms are H1N1 and that we don’t need to come to the hospital or get tested unless the symptoms are severe, so what are the symptoms and when do I need to go to the hospital? With the help of Flu.gov, I've broken down, virtually, everything you ever wanted to know, and more, because you asked.

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