WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
H1N1 influenza (swine flu) is an infection caused by a virus. It is easily spread when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or has close contact with others. You may be able to spread H1N1 influenza to others for 1 week or longer after signs or symptoms appear.
Call 911 for any of the following:
- You have trouble breathing, and your lips look purple or blue.
- You have a seizure.
- You have new pain or pressure in your chest.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You are dizzy, or you are urinating less or not at all.
- You have a headache with a stiff neck, and you feel tired or confused.
- Your symptoms, such as shortness of breath, vomiting, or diarrhea, get worse.
- Your symptoms, such as fever and coughing, seem to get better, but then get worse.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have new muscle pain or weakness.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
You may need any of the following:
- Acetaminophen decreases pain and fever. It is available without a doctor's order. Ask how much to take and how often to take it. Follow directions. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage if not taken correctly.
- NSAIDs help decrease swelling and pain or fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor's order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions.
- Antivirals help fight a viral infection.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
as much as you can to help you recover.
Drink liquids as directed
to help prevent dehydration. Ask how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you.
Prevent the spread of H1N1 influenza:
- Wash your hands often. Use soap and water. Wash your hands after you use the bathroom, change a child's diapers, or sneeze. Wash your hands before you prepare or eat food. Use gel hand cleanser when there is no soap and water available. Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth unless you have washed your hands first.
- Cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough. Cough into a tissue or the bend of your arm.
- Clean shared items with a germ-killing cleaner. Clean table surfaces, doorknobs, and light switches. Do not share towels, silverware, and dishes with people who are sick. Wash bed sheets, towels, silverware, and dishes with soap and water.
- Wear a mask over your mouth and nose if you are sick or are near anyone who is sick.
- Stay away from others if you are sick.
- Influenza vaccine helps prevent influenza (flu). Everyone older than 6 months should get a yearly influenza vaccine. Get the vaccine as soon as it is available, usually in October or November each year.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.