NOVEMBER 12, 2009
DENVER — The H1N1 flu continues to spread in the United States and in several countries around the world. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports more than 5,000 confirmed cases of swine flu in the United States. There have been several hospitalizations and three deaths, so far.
National Jewish Health is closely monitoring the situation and its patients.
Symptoms of H1N1 flu are similar to those of seasonal flu:
- sore throat
- runny nose
- body aches
- diarrhea and vomiting have also been reported among some swine-flu patients.
What you can do to stay healthy
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
- Avoid close contact with other people with flu-like symptoms.
If you get sick
- If you have mild symptoms, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
- If you have severe symptoms (see below), contact your doctor or go to an emergency room.
In children, signs that urgent medical attention is needed include:
- Fast breathing or trouble breathing
- Bluish skin color
- Not drinking enough fluids
- 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
- Fever with a rash
In adults, signs that urgent medical attention is needed include:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
- Sudden dizziness
- Severe or persistent vomiting
For the latest information on swine flu visit the CDC website at http://cdc.gov/swineflu.