Swine Flu Symptoms

Reviewed by:  Daniel Williams, MD

The H1N1 “Swine” Flu has received a lot of media coverage, but what are the symptoms? Is it really different than the regular flu? The good news is that you probably already know what the flu looks or feels like.

Symptoms of the regular, seasonal flu include fever, headache, chills, body aches, cough and/or sore throat, and a runny or stuffy nose. The symptoms for H1N1 are exactly the same, but may also include vomiting and diarrhea. However, H1N1 symptoms are more severe. For example, the fever may be higher than 104, the headache may be so severe as to limit function, and the cough may be nearly constant.

Get medical attention right away if you:

1. Have difficulty breathing or chest pain

2. Have purple or blue discoloration of your lips

3. Are vomiting and unable to keep liquids down, or

4. Show signs of dehydration, such as feeling dizzy when standing or being unable to urinate

Despite the fear of this disease, the outlook depends on the severity of the infection, age, and whether there are other medical problems. Pregnant women and young people appear more likely to get the H1N1 virus and also to have bad outcomes when they become infected. Surprisingly, people age 65 or older have a lower risk than younger age groups.

For more information, visit: * Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu * World Health Organization – www.who.int/csr/disease/swineflu/en/index.html

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