The 2014 Flu Symptoms


The 2014 flu symptoms and season hasn’t even reached its peak yet, and already there are more deaths than anticipated across the country. The current predominant strain of flu H1N1 is a version of the same virus that struck in 2009, and this virus strikes not only those with a compromised immune system, and small children, but also healthy adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention while children and babies are most at risk everyone especially young adults who come in contact with the flu should take the symptoms seriously.


H1N1 or the Swine flu spreads through a population much the same way as any other flu. When a person who is infected coughs or sneezes this individual will spray tiny drops of saliva into the air. This saliva mist will carry the virus into the air, and anyone who comes in contact with it can catch the virus. The virus can remain on anything touched by the infected person such as doorknobs, sinks, or water fountains for sometime. The CDC is reminding the public to be safe, and once the symptoms of the condition are known to avoid spreading the virus to others whenever possible. Public health officials are also letting the public know that despite common misconception you can’t catch this flu from eating bacon, ham or other pork products.


Complicating the spread of H1N1 is this flu will render a person contagious one day before the symptoms demonstrate, and an adult individual with the virus can remain contagious for up to 7 days despite the appearance of feeling well. Children can remain contagious for as many as 10 days.


The symptoms will appear at different points after infection in no particular order. The symptoms include fatigue, chills, body aches, headache, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, fever, and a cough.  Because the symptoms are so similar to other seasonal varieties of the flu the only way a doctor can tell the difference is through a culture test. One symptom more likely to occur in those with swine flu than any other other variety of flu is nausea and vomiting. Swine like other varieties of flu can lead to serious complications including pneumonia and respiratory failure. Those with other conditions like diabetes or asthma can see a worsening of symptoms related to those conditions while ill with the flu.


Those at worse risk from complications include people aged 65 or older, children under 5 years of age, children and teens who are taking long-term aspirin therapy, pregnant women, anyone with chronic heart, lung, liver, blood, metabolic, or nervous system problems. Those who have a suppressed immune system from HIV or other conditions are more at risk of complications, and those in nursing home or long-term care facilitates are likewise at risk.


The CDC cautions that those with symptoms of the flu who experience extremely high fever, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, severe vomiting, abdominal pain, feelings of dizziness, or mental confusion should contact a doctor or call 911 as soon as possible.


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