H1N1

Symptoms and treatment of H1N1

The H1N1 virus (also known as the H1N1 flu virus or swine flu) is a contagious condition similar to the common flu. It emerged in the spring of 2009 and was categorized as a pandemic shortly afterward. It affects people of all ages, but affects more young people than the ordinary seasonal flu does.

It's difficult to differentiate between normal flu and swine flu, as the H1N1 symptom list is very similar to that of ordinary flu. The only way to get a firm diagnosis of H1N1 is to have a lab test. If you believe you are experiencing signs and symptoms of H1N1, you should see a doctor and get this test so you can start treatment.

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H1N1 Flu Virus Symptoms

Many symptoms of H1N1 are quite similar to those of a regular flu and include body aches, fever, sore throat, coughing and runny nose.

One symptom of H1N1 flu that normally isn't present with an ordinary flu is diarrhea. Vomiting may also be a symptom of H1N1 virus. Keep in mind, however, that these two symptoms are only indicators in adult cases of swine flu; children may experience them with all strains of flu.

H1N1 Treatment

Treating the symptoms of H1N1 is similar to treating those of the regular seasonal flu—plenty of rest and fluids and healthy, nourishing food. Because the severity of symptoms can vary, it's important to keep a close eye on them and to seek medical help if there is any chest pain, dizziness, shortness of breath or other potentially serious symptoms.

The best treatment of H1N1 is to not get it at all. H1N1 is highly contagious, so it's important to take measures to limit your exposure to the virus. Frequent hand washing, sneezing into your elbow and sterilizing common surfaces are easy ways that people can help stop the spread of H1N1.

You may also wish to lower your risk for contracting H1N1 by getting the H1N1 vaccine. Both a nasal spray and an injection have been developed. The nasal spray is available for people ages 2 to 49, while the injection is used for those 6 months old and up. Keep in mind that pregnant women should not take either vaccine.

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