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Monday, May 11, 2009

Taking Care Of H1N1 Swine Influenza Patient At Home

Swine influenza A virus infection (swine flu) can cause a wide range of symptoms, including fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with swine flu.

People with swine flu also can have vomiting and diarrhea. Like seasonal flu, swine flu in humans can vary in severity from mild to severe. Severe disease with pneumonia, respiratory failure and even death is possible with swine flu infection. Certain groups might be more likely to develop a severe illness from swine flu infection, such as persons with chronic medical conditions. Sometimes bacterial infections may occur at the same time as or after infection with influenza viruses and lead to pneumonias, ear infections, or sinus infections.

CDC, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has pulished a dynamic document tha procides interim guidance that will get updated as needed. So if you are sick or taking care of H1N1 patient, bookmark the taking care of a sick person at home document.

People with swine flu who are cared for at home should:

  • check with their health care provider about any special care they might need if they are pregnant or have a health condition such as diabetes, heart disease, asthma, or emphysema
  • check with their health care provider about whether they should take antiviral medications
  • stay home for 7 days after your symptoms begin or until you have been symptom-free for 24 hours, whichever is longer
  • get plenty of rest
  • drink clear fluids (such as water, broth, sports drinks, electrolyte beverages for infants) to keep from being dehydrated
  • cover coughs and sneezes. Clean hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub often and especially after using tissues and after coughing or sneezing into hands.
  • avoid close contact with others – do not go to work or school while ill
  • be watchful for emergency warning signs (see below) that might indicate you need to seek medical attention
Follow this link for the CDC Publication. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Hotline (1-800-CDC-INFO) is available in English and Spanish, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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