Swine Flu (H1N1 Flu)

What is Swine Flu?

The swine flu, also referred to as H1N1, is an influenza virus that is very contagious. This flu virus originated in pigs, but now it is a common virus that circulates through humans during the flu season every year.

People pass the swine flu to other people when they leave germs on a surface, such as a door handle or a chair, and the germs are transferred to other people when they place their hand on the same surface. When an infected individual sneezes or coughs without covering their mouth, they are also spreading germs to others this way.

What are the Symptoms of the Swine Flu?

Swine flu symptoms are almost identical to those of other types of influenza viruses and individuals will generally have a fever, sore throat, chills, headache, coughing and a runny nose. Fatigue, an aching body, diarrhea and vomiting are also common H1N1 flu symptoms.

Respiratory issues can occur with this illness and cause individuals to develop breathing problems. If the infection lingers, pneumonia is a possibility. Individuals can expect swine flu symptoms to appear within one to four days after being exposed to the virus. The length of time before the flu symptoms begin to clear up is usually one or two weeks after the initial symptoms.

How is Swine Flu Treated?

Most individuals who have the swine flu do not need medical treatment unless they are susceptible to developing additional health problems by being infected with the virus. If necessary, these individuals will be given an antiviral medication, such as zanamivir and oseltamivir.

Individuals can get relief from their symptoms by getting enough rest and drinking an adequate amount of fluids. To help alleviate painful symptoms, individuals can take store bought pain relievers. Individuals can prevent a flu infection by getting a yearly flu vaccine in the form of a shot or a nasal spray.

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Last Reviewed:
October 09, 2016
Last Updated:
August 22, 2017