Symptoms of H1N1 (Swine Flu)

September 14, 2019

Hi. I’m Dr. Joe Bresee
with CDC’s Influenza Division. I’m here to speak with you today about the symptoms
of swine-flu infections and what to do
if you get sick. Since March 2009, persons with infection caused by
a new strain of swine-flu virus have been identified in the U.S.
and other countries. It’s important
that people recognize the symptoms of swine flu and seek medical care
if necessary. For many years, we’ve known that swine flu
occasionally infects humans, so we know the typical symptoms
of swine flu. Symptoms are similar to the symptoms
of regular human flu and can include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills, or fatigue. Some people with swine flu have also reported diarrhea
or vomiting. In the past, severe illness such as pneumonia
or respiratory failure, as well as death,
has been reported with swine-flu infections
in people. Like seasonal flu, swine flu
may cause a worsening of underlying
chronic medical conditions. If you live in an area where swine-flu infections
have been reported and if you become ill
with flu-like symptoms, you may want to contact
your healthcare provider, particularly if you’re worried
about your symptoms. Your healthcare provider
will determine whether swine-flu testing
or treatment is needed. If you become ill and experience any
of the following warning signs, get emergency medical care. In children,
emergency warning signs that need
urgent medical attention include fast breathing
or trouble breathing, bluish skin color,
not drinking enough fluids, not waking up
or not interacting, being so irritable that the child
does not want to be held, fever with a rash, or flu-like symptoms
that improve but then return
with fever or worse cough. In adults,
emergency warning signs that need
urgent medical attention include difficulty breathing
or shortness of breath, pain or pressure
in the chest or abdomen, sudden dizziness, confusion, or severe
or persistent vomiting. People with swine flu
can infect others and could be contagious
as long as they are symptomatic and possibly
for up to seven days following the onset of illness. Children,
especially younger children, might potentially be contagious
for longer periods. Fortunately,
there are medicines that can be used
to treat swine flu. Antiviral drugs
are prescription medicines such as pills, liquids,
or an inhaler that fight against the flu
by keeping flu viruses from reproducing in your body. If you get sick, antiviral drugs
can make your illness milder and can make you feel better
faster. They may also prevent
serious flu complications. For treatment,
antiviral drugs work best if started within two days
of symptoms. CDC recommends the use of oseltamivir,
which is also called Tamiflu, or zanamivir,
which is also called Relenza, for the treatment or prevention of infection
with these swine-flu viruses. If you get sick with swine flu, CDC recommends that you
stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to reduce the chance
of transmitting the infection. Avoid touching
your eyes, nose, or mouth because germs can spread
that way. Cover your mouth and nose
with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you
from getting sick. For more information
about swine flu, visit

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