Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Stay Healthy!!!

The past few days I have felt like I was getting a cold... It wasn't until yesterday when I found out a co-worker of mine had come down with the swine flu virus did I think anything of the swine flu... I was in not wanting to believe I had come down with the swine flu, but this morning when I woke up (I slept through my alarm...) my head was pounding, everything ached all over, I went through phases of being hot and cold, and just did not want to move. I found out I had a 100.7 temp, so I called in sick and made an appointment with my doctor. By the time my appointment came around my temp rose to 101 even and my doctor said she had no doubt that I had the swine flu... So for those of you who haven't looked much into the flu symptoms I thought I would post them on my blog. Better to be safe then sorry I always say......

Although the name 'swine flu' brings up a lot of extra fear and worry, it is important to note that swine flu is just an influenza A H1N1 virus.

That means that it is just another type of flu virus, just like that causes our typical seasonal flu symptoms. The big difference is that the current swine influenza A (H1N1) virus new and most of us don't have any immunity to it. That is what made it so easy for it to become a pandemic virus (have the ability to cause a global outbreak), because it could easily spread from person-to-person.

After a summer of declining flu cases, swine flu cases are on the rise as kids are going to back to school, as you can see on this swine flu map.

Swine Flu Symptoms

According to the CDC, like seasonal flu, symptoms of swine flu infections can include:

  • fever, which is usually high, but unlike seasonal flu, is sometimes absent
  • cough
  • runny nose or stuffy nose
  • sore throat
  • body aches
  • headache
  • chills
  • fatigue or tiredness, which can be extreme
  • diarrhea and vomiting, sometimes, but more commonly seen than with seasonal flu

Signs of a more serious swine flu infection might include pneumonia and respiratory failure.

If your child has symptoms of swine flu, you should avoid other people and call your pediatrician who might do a rapid flu test to see if he has an influenza A infection. Further testing can then be done to see if it is a swine flu infection. (Samples can be sent to local and state health departments and the CDC for confirmation of swine flu, especially if a child is in the hospital.)

Swine Flu High Risk Groups

With regular seasonal flu, infants and the elderly are usually thought to be most at risk for serious infections, in addition to people with chronic medical problems. Swine flu high risk groups, people who are thought to be at risk for serious, life-threatening infections, are a little different and can include:

  • pregnant women
  • people with chronic medical problems, such as chronic lung disease, like asthma, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and immunosuppression
  • children and adults with obesity

Serious Swine Flu Symptoms

More serious symptoms that would indicate that a child with swine flu would need urgent medical attention include:

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish or gray skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • 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

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