Tuesday, October 27, 2009

How To Know If You Have the H1N1 Flu

You may have the flu if you have some or all of these symptoms:

fever *
sore throat
runny or stuffy nose
body aches
sometimes diarrhea and vomiting
*It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

Getting sick means that you should stay home and avoid contact until the fever has been gone for 24 hours. The only problem is that you don't always get a fever. Generally, you only need to stay home and rest up and let it run its course.

Since flu is a virus antibiotics won't do anything to help you. If you get an opportunistic, secondary infection that is usually bacterial then antibiotics would be useful, if prescribed by a doctor.

You should go to the hospital only if these severe symptoms show up:

In children:
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
Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
Fever with a rash

In adults:
Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
Sudden dizziness
Severe or persistent vomiting

Call 911 or the hospital first to let them know you're coming and any special instructions they may have for flu cases.

Is your nearest hospital equipped for children? Is there one that is nearby?

You do have the local hospital ER call-in number in your address book, right?