Don't Panic Over H1N1 (Swine) Flu, Take Simple Precautions
As health officials continue to monitor flu activity closely, physicians at Northwestern Memorial Hospital want to help the public remain well-informed regarding influenza A H1N1 (swine flu). H1N1 symptoms, similar to seasonal flu symptoms, include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. While there currently is no vaccine for this particular flu strain, most cases in the U.S. have been mild, and patients are urged to stay home and use conventional flu symptom treatment: rest, fluids and over-the-counter pain and fever reducers. For patients with more serious symptoms, (difficulty breathing, severe pain) antiviral drugs may be prescribed by your physician.
Similar to seasonal flu, the following simple steps can help prevent the spread of H1N1 flu:
- avoid close contact with those who are ill
- cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing
- throw away used tissues
- thoroughly clean your hands with soap and water or with alcohol-based hand sanitizers
- avoid touching surfaces that may be contaminated with the flu virus
Equally important in preventing flu infection is maintaining good general health. Physicians remind that getting adequate rest, staying physically active, drinking plenty of fluids and eating balanced, nutritious meals are healthy habits that can lessen the possibility of becoming ill or spreading the flu.
For more information on influenza and H1N1 flu, please call 1-866-331-9191 or visit the following resources: