Influenza H1N1 Overview
Another name for Influenza H1N1 is Swine Flu.
What is swine flu?
A person with swine flu has an infection of the lungs caused by a strain of type A influenza virus called H1N1. This virus was originally referred to as swine flu because laboratory testing showed that many of the genes in this new virus were very similar to influenza viruses that normally occur in pigs. Many influenza viruses that occur in animals do not infect humans, but the H1N1 influenza virus does. The H1N1 virus spreads in the same way that seasonal flu spreads. Those with swine flu release the virus into the air on droplets of mucus when they sneeze or cough. The virus enters the lungs of others when they inhale the droplets.
What are the symptoms of swine flu?
Common symptoms of swine flu include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion, body aches, fatigue, and headache. Additional symptoms of swine flu may include breathing difficulty, wheezing, joint pains, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
How does the doctor treat swine flu?
Treatment for swine flu includes general supportive care for minor flu symptoms, with the addition of anti-viral medications in cases where the symptoms are severe or when an individual is determined to be at high risk for serious H1N1 infection.
Continue to Influenza H1N1 Risk Factors
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- VHA Office of Public Health Surveillance and Research; Influenza Algorithm Work Group