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Sunday, December 21, 2014
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has determined that the H1N1 (swine flu) virus that has been causing illness in people is contagious and is spreading from human to human. Please refer to the CDC website for the latest information on the outbreak.
The symptoms of swine flu (H1N1) in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and include:
H1N1 (Swine Flu) Virus
Photo courtesy of
C.S. Goldsmith and A. Balish
CDC Public Health Image Library (PHIL)
Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with swine flu (H1N1). In the past, severe illness (pneumonia and respiratory failure) and deaths have been reported with swine flu (H1N1) infection in people. Like seasonal flu, swine flu (H1N1) may cause a worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions.
There is no vaccine available right now to protect against swine flu (H1N1). There are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like influenza. Take these everyday steps to protect your health:
You should be aware that swine influenza viruses are not spread by food. You cannot get swine influenza (H1N1) from eating pork or pork products. Eating properly handled and cooked pork products is safe.
People with swine influenza virus (H1N1) infection should be considered potentially contagious as long as they are symptomatic and possible for up to 7 days following illness onset. Children, especially younger children, might potentially be contagious for longer periods.
If you live in areas where swine influenza (H1N1) cases have been identified and you become ill with influenza-like symptoms, including fever, body aches, runny nose, sore throat, nausea, or vomiting or diarrhea, you may want to contact their health care provider, particularly if you are worried about your symptoms. Your health care provider will determine whether influenza testing or treatment is needed.
If you are sick with influenza, CDC recommends that you:
The CDC advises seeking emergency medical care if the following conditions are experienced:
While there is no vaccine to prevent swine flu (H1N1), CDC recommends the use of the antiviral drugs oseltamivir (Tamiflu®) or zanamivir (Relenza®) to treat the infection. These prescription medications keep flu viruses from reproducing in the body and can make the illness milder. They may also help you feel better faster and prevent serious flu complications.
Antiviral drugs are most effective if they are started within 2 days of the first sign of symptoms.
The CDC keeps an updated count of confirmed cases of swine flu (H1N1) infections in the United States. You can also contact your state or local health department for information.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) and You
This article is a NetWellness exclusive.
Last Reviewed: May 01, 2009