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Swine Flu Symptoms, Diagnosis and Complications

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Symptoms

Swine flu symptoms first noticed with infections are commonly the sudden onset of a headache, sore throat and muscle aches. The beginning of symptoms is often obvious enough that people can remember precisely when they first noticed them. Recovery usually happens within about a week. Influenza causes fever that's generally over 39 C (102 F), muscle aches, headache, and often a dry cough. One way to recognize flu symptoms is to remember the acronym FACTS:

  1. Fever
  2. Aches
  3. Cough
  4. Tiredness
  5. Sudden symptoms

The most common swine flu symptoms include:

  1. Fever (usually high)
  2. Headache
  3. Muscle aches
  4. Chills
  5. Extreme tiredness
  6. Dry cough
  7. Runny nose may also occur but is more common in children than adults.
  8. Stomach symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, may also occur but are more common in children than adults

Several nations have imposed travel bans, or made plans to quarantine air travelers who present symptoms of the swine flu, such as:

  1. Coughing
  2. Fever of more than 100 F
  3. Joint aches
  4. Lethargy
  5. Lack of appetite
  6. Runny nose and/or sore throat
  7. Severe headache
  8. Vomiting and/or diarrhea

Flu symptoms generally appear 1 to 3 days after exposure to the virus. Symptoms can be mild or severe and if they're mild can suddenly become severe. It is interesting to compare these symptoms to the symptoms of Tamiflu the medication often used for cases of the flu.

Diagnosis

Just because a person has flu-like symptoms or even has the flu, does not necessarily mean they have the swine flu. Confirming the presence of swine flu (influenza strain H1N1) takes several days. As done by the US Centers For Disease Control, it is a four-step process as follows:

  1. The investigative step, where they test to see if the patient actually has the flu.
  2. If the patient has an influenza-like illness (ILI), a sample (nose swab) is taken and sent for further investigation.

  3. The suspect step - the sample is evaluated to determine if it is influenza, and then whether type A or B. If positive for type A it goes to the next stage.

  4. The probable stage means that it could be swine flu. The results are sent to the Center for Disease Control.

  5. The confirmed stage means that the patients sample has been verified as being influenza type A (H1N1) which is the swine flu.

The tests can take a number of days to complete. So when we hear statistics of the number of confirmed cases it is several days behind the actual number of people who have even developed symptoms.

Complications

If you get a bacterial infection on top of the flu illness, things get more complicated and more serious. Bacterial pneumonia can irritate and inflame your weakened lungs. Pneumonia can also be caused by the flu virus itself. Complications usually appear after you have started to feel better. You may improve somewhat and then sudden have the following symptoms:

  1. High fever
  2. Shaking chills
  3. Chest pain with each breath
  4. Coughing that produces thick, yellowish-green-colored mucus

Bacterial pneumonia can be very serious and even life-threatening. If you or a family member has these symptoms, you should speak to your healthcare provider immediately.

Summary

Be aware of the swine flu symptoms, what is involved in flu diagnosis and what to do if you do show symptoms. Also, be prepared by exploring the information on this website and act now to strengthen your immune system.



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