What are the Symptoms of Swine FluAs swine flu spreads fast throughout the country, it is important to know the symptoms of the disease so you can recognise it in yourself and others at an early stage.
Usually symptoms of swine flu have generally proved mild. However a small number of patients may develop more serious illness. Many of these people have other underlying health conditions, such as heart or lung disease, that put them at increased risk.
Typical symptoms are:
- A sudden fever - 100 degrees F or above
- A sudden cough
- Cough and sneezing
- Weakness and fatigue
- Aching muscles and joints
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Diarrhoea or stomach upset
- Loss of appetite
- you have a serious existing illness that weakens your immune system, such as cancer
- you are pregnant
- you have a sick child under one
- your condition suddenly gets much worse
- your condition is still getting worse after seven days (five for a child)
For most people, swine flu is a mild illness. Some people get better by staying in bed, drinking plenty of water and taking over-the-counter flu medication.
However, some groups of people are more at risk of serious illness if they catch swine flu, and will need to start taking antiviral medication as it is confirmed that they have it.
It is already known that you are particularly at risk if you have:
- chronic (long-term) lung disease,
- chronic heart disease,
- chronic kidney disease,
- chronic liver disease,
- chronic neurological disease (neurological disorders include motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease),
- immunosuppression (whether caused by disease or treatment) or
- diabetes mellitus.
- patients who have had drug treatment for asthma within the past three years,
- pregnant women,
- people aged 65 and older, and
- young children under five.
It is vital that people in these higher-risk groups who catch swine flu get antivirals and start taking them as soon as possible.
As with any sort of influenza, how bad and how long the symptoms last will depend on treatment and the patient's individual circumstances.
Most cases reported in India have been relatively mild, with those affected starting to recover within a week. Persons with swine flu infection should be considered potentially contagious for up to 7 days following illness onset. Persons who continue to be ill longer than 7 days after illness onset should be considered potentially contagious until symptoms have resolved. Children, especially younger children, might potentially be contagious for longer periods.
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