Swine flu, or H1N1 flu, is a type of influenza. It’s a viral infection of the respiratory tract, including the lungs, throat, and nose. In 2009, swine flu caused a worldwide pandemic. Today, it’s one of several viruses that cause seasonal flu.
Dignity Health Central California emergency rooms are staffed by doctors, nurses, and specially trained staff all day, every day. We offer “fast track” rooms for minor emergencies to help you get in and out faster. Come to our experts for care for H1N1 in Central California. Wait at home, not the ER, with our online waiting service InQuicker.
Swine Flu Symptoms
Swine flu causes the same symptoms as other types of seasonal flu. This includes a runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, cough, headache, body aches, fever, and chills. Seek medical attention as soon as possible if any of these symptoms become serious.
Complications from any type of flu, including H1N1, can be serious and sometimes life threatening. Swine flu can lead to bronchitis, sinus infections, and pneumonia. It can also make existing medical conditions worse.
Who is at Risk for H1N1 Flu?
Swine flu can be mild or severe. It can sometimes cause life-threatening complications. Those with the highest risk of developing complications include:
- People with weakened immune systems or chronic medical conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and asthma
- Adults 65 years of age and older
- Children under five years of age and especially those under two
- Pregnant women
- People who are morbidly obese
- Residents of long-term care facilities, including nursing homes
Anyone in these categories who develops flu symptoms should seek immediate medical care.
What Causes Swine Flu?
Swine flu is an influenza virus. It got the name because it is similar to a type of influenza virus that normally affects pigs. However, you can’t get human H1N1 from properly handled and cooked pork products.
Swine flu spreads from person to person through tiny droplets of liquid released when someone with the virus talks, sneezes, or coughs. People become contagious about a day before they even know they are sick. The flu can also be spread by touching contaminated objects and then touching your mouth or nose.
Swine Flu Treatment at Dignity Health Central California
Swine flu treatment focuses on relieving symptoms and preventing the flu from spreading to others. Treatment usually involves over-the-counter medicines to calm symptoms, fluids, and lots of rest.
People who have a high risk of developing flu-related complications may need antiviral medicines to help them get better. These prescription medicines work best when taken within 48 hours after symptoms appear.
The best way to prevent swine flu is to get a flu vaccine every year. Also, wash your hands regularly and take care to avoid sick people.
For more tips on maintaining your well-being and health, Find a Doctor online today.
Dignity Health Central California offers compassionate care for the flu, including swine flu, in Bakersfield, Merced, San Andreas, and Stockton, CA.