SWINE FLU SYMPTOMS
According to the CDC, like seasonal flu, symptoms of swine flu infections can include:
- fever, which is usually high, but unlike seasonal flu, is sometimes absent
- runny nose or stuffy nose
- sore throat
- body aches
- fatigue or tiredness, which can be extreme
- diarrhea and vomiting, sometimes, but more commonly seen than with seasonal flu
Signs of a more serious swine flu infection might include pneumonia and respiratory failure.
TREATMENT FOR SWINE FLU (H1N1)
The best treatment for influenza infections in humans is prevention by vaccination.
Work by several laboratories has recently produced vaccines. The firstvaccine released in early October 2009 was a nasal spray vaccine. It isapproved for use in healthy individuals ages 2 through 49. This vaccineconsists of a live attenuated H1N1 virus and should not be used in anyone whois pregnantor immunocompromised.
The injectable vaccine, made from killed H1N1, became available in thesecond week of October. This vaccineis approved for use in ages 6 months to the elderly,including pregnant females. Both of these vaccines have been approved by theCDC only after they had conducted clinical trials to prove that the vaccineswere safe and effective. However, caregiversshould be aware of the vaccine guidelines that come with the vaccines, asoccasionally, the guidelines change. Please see the sections below titled”Can novel H1N1 swine flu be prevented with a vaccine?” and thetimeline update for the current information on the vaccines.
Two antiviral agents have been reported to help prevent or reduce theeffects of swine flu. They are zanamivir(Relenza) and oseltamivir(Tamiflu), both of which are also used to prevent or reduce influenza A and Bsymptoms.
These drugs should not be used indiscriminately, because viral resistance tothem can and has occurred. Also, they are not recommended if the flu symptomsalready have been present for 48 hours or more, although hospitalized patientsmay still be treated past the 48-hour guideline.
Severe infections in some patients may require additional supportivemeasures such as ventilation support and treatment of other infections likepneumonia that can occur in patients with a severe flu infection. The CDC hassuggested in their interim guidelines that pregnant females can be treated withthe two antiviral agents.