What is H1N1?
H1N1 is a respiratory disease of
pigs caused by type A influenza viruses. Outbreaks of swine flu happen regularly in pigs. People do not normally get swine
flu, but human infections can and do happen. Most commonly, human cases of swine flu happen in people who are around pigs
but it’s possible for swine flu viruses to spread from person to person also.
Are there human infections with H1N1 in the U.S.?
late March and early April 2009, cases of human infection with swine influenza A (H1N1) viruses were first reported in Southern
California and near San Antonio, Texas. CDC and local and state health agencies are working together to investigate this situation.
Is this H1N1 virus contagious?
CDC has determined that
this virus is contagious and is spreading from human to human. However, at this time, it not known how easily the virus spreads
What are the signs and symptoms of H1N1 in people?
symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body
aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with swine flu. In the past,
severe illness (pneumonia and respiratory failure) and deaths have been reported with swine flu infection in people. Like
seasonal flu, swine flu may cause a worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions.
How do you catch H1N1?
Spread of swine flu can occur
in two ways:
· Through contact with infected pigs or environments contaminated with swine flu viruses.
· Through contact with a person with H1N1. Human-to-human spread of H1N1 has
been documented also and is thought to occur in the same way as seasonal flu. Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person
through coughing or sneezing of infected people.
Are there medicines to treat H1N1?
Yes. Public health
officials recommend the use of tamiflu or relenza for the treatment and/or prevention of infection with these swine
influenza viruses. Antiviral drugs are prescription medicines (pills, liquid 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 make
you feel better faster. They may also prevent serious flu complications. For treatment, antiviral drugs work best if started
soon after getting sick (within two days of symptoms). Antiviral drugs should only be used for individuals who
are hospitalized or with chronic health conditions. Antivirals should never be used for regular, mild cases of
How long can an infected person spread H1N1 to others?
with swine influenza virus infection should be considered potentially contagious as long as they are symptomatic and possible
for up to 7 days following illness onset. Children, especially younger children, might potentially be contagious for longer
periods. Adults or children with flu like symptoms should not return to school or work until they are fever free (without
medications) for 24 hours.
What can I do to protect myself from getting sick?
is no vaccine available right now to protect against swine flu. There are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread
of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like influenza. Take these everyday steps to protect your health:
· Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based
hand cleaners are also effective.
· Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in
the trash after you use it.
· Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
· If you get sick with influenza, DHSS recommends that you stay home from work or school
and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread
What should I do if I get sick?
Symptoms include fever, body
aches, runny nose, sore throat, nausea, or vomiting or diarrhea, you may want to contact their health care provider, particularly
if you are worried about your symptoms. Your health care provider will determine whether influenza testing or treatment is
If you are sick, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people as much as possible to keep from spreading
your illness to others.
If you become ill and experience any of the following warning signs, seek 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
· Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
· Fever with a rash
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
· Severe or persistent vomiting
Can I get H1N1 from eating or preparing pork?
influenza viruses are not spread by food. You cannot get swine influenza from eating pork or pork products. Eating properly
handled and cooked pork products is safe.
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To learn more about swine flu, and for more details
on the state and federal investigation, please visit the CDC Swine Flu website or .