What are the signs and symptoms of H1N1 (swine) flu in people?
The symptoms of novel H1N1 flu virus in people are similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. A significant number of people who have been infected with novel H1N1 flu virus also have reported diarrhea and vomiting. The high risk groups for novel H1N1 flu are not known at this time, but it's possible that they may be the same as for seasonal influenza. People at higher risk of serious complications from seasonal flu include people age 65 years and older, children younger than 5 years old, pregnant women, people of any age with chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), and people who are immunosuppressed (e.g., taking immunosuppressive medications, infected with HIV).
Avoid Contact With Others
If you are sick, you may be ill for a week or longer. Unless necessary for medical care, you should stay home and minimize contact with others, including avoiding travel and not going to work or school, for 7 days after your symptoms begin or until you have been symptom-free for 24 hours, whichever is longer. If you leave the house to seek medical care, wear a facemask, if available and tolerable, and cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue. In general, you should avoid contact with other people as much as possible to keep from spreading your illness, especially people at increased risk of severe illness from influenza. With seasonal flu, people may be contagious from one day before they develop symptoms to up to 7 days after they get sick. Children, especially younger children, might potentially be contagious for longer periods. People infected with the novel H1N1 are likely to have similar patterns of infectiousness as with seasonal flu.
Protect Yourself, Your Family, and Community
-Stay informed. Health officials will provide additional information as it becomes available. Visit the CDC H1N1 Flu website.
-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 hand cleaners are also effective.
-Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
-Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
-If you are sick with a flu-like illness, stay home for 7 days after your symptoms begin or until you have been symptom-free for 24 hours, whichever is longer, except to seek medical care or for other necessities. Keep away from other household members as much as possible. This is to keep you from infecting others and spreading the virus further.
-If you are sick and sharing a common space with other household members in your home, wear a facemask, if available and tolerable, to help prevent spreading the virus to others. For more information, see the Interim Recommendations for Facemask and Respirator Use.
-Learn more about how to take care of someone who is ill in "Taking Care of a Sick Person in Your Home"
-Follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds, and other social distancing measures.
-If you don’t have one yet, consider developing a family emergency plan as a precaution. This should include storing a supply of extra food, medicines, and other essential supplies. Further information can be found in the "Flu Planning Checklist"