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Symptoms of swine flu

Fatigue, fever, headache, cough and runny nose could signal several illnesses. Many people who feel these symptoms automatically ascribe them to the flu, but they could also be signs of a cold or a more serious infection. Going to the doctor for a full evaluation of symptoms will ensure that the best course of treatment for the specific disease is sought.

Symptoms of the seasonal flu include common signs of viral infections: fever, chills, headache, cough, and extreme fatigue. The novel H1N1 flu pandemic virus has symptoms which mimic the seasonal flu, but there is one difference: vomiting or diarrhea. Those who also have stomach problems with flu like symptoms might believe that they are suffering from a stomach flu, but they could have swine flu symptoms. This variety of flu, more appropriately named H1N1, can be a deadly form of the flu, especially for those with prior medical conditions.

How can a person tell the difference between seasonal and swine flu symptoms? The only way to determine which strain of flu is at fault is to have a physician-ordered blood test. After the blood test confirms the type of flu, the doctor will report the case to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Patient information is kept anonymous, and the only thing that is reported is the location and type of flu. By keeping track of the number of cases of swine flu symptoms which appear in the population, the CDC can provide the public with a tracking system. This can inform people where the swine flu and seasonal flu are affecting the most people, and how high of an alert level they need to be on.

Preventative measures against swine flu symptoms is the same as against seasonal flu. These methods include hand washing, isolation of those sick, and proper sneezing methods. Vaccines for both are available, but there could be several shots required to provide immunity against the swine flu. The swine flu vaccine is different from the seasonal flu shot, and both are needed to protect one during the colder months of the flu season.

Watching out for swine flu symptoms is just the first step. After spotting them and visiting a physician, the prescription given by the doctor needs to be carefully followed. Doctors often withhold antiviral medications for those with chronic medical conditions for whom the swine flu symptoms could develop into life-threatening infections. These medicines improve symptoms after three days, but the person will remain contagious for seven to ten days, even without feeling swine flu symptoms. During this time, the ill person needs to stay away from others to prevent spreading the disease.

Swine flu symptoms can mask themselves as similar to several illnesses, but immediate treatment can only be done if the doctor is consulted as soon as possible.

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