H1N1 Flu

Symptoms

The symptoms of 2009 H1N1 flu virus in people include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Body aches
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea. People may be infected with 2009 H1N1 flu and have respiratory symptoms without a fever. Severe illnesses and deaths have occurred as a result of illness associated with this virus.

How severe is illness associated with 2009 H1N1 flu virus?

Illness with 2009 H1N1 virus has ranged from mild to severe. While most people who have been sick have recovered without needing medical treatment, hospitalizations and deaths from infection with this virus have occurred, particularly for those in "high risk" groups.

How does 2009 H1N1 virus spread?

The 2009 H1N1 virus is contagious.  Spread of the virus is thought to occur in the same way that seasonal flu spreads. Flu viruses are spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing by people with influenza. Sometimes people may become infected by touching something - such as a surface or object - with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.


How long can an infected person spread this virus to others?

People infected with seasonal and 2009 H1N1 flu shed virus and may be able to infect others from 1 day before getting sick to 5 to 7 days after. This can be longer in some people, especially children and people with weakened immune systems and in people infected with the new H1N1 virus.  In general, stay at home for at least 24 hours after fever is gone .

At Risk Groups

Some people are more likely to get H1N1 flu complications and they should talk to a health care provider about whether they need to be examined if they get flu symptoms this season.

They are:

  • Children ages 6 months to 24 years (especially children younger than 2 years old)
  • People 65 and older
  • Pregnant women
  • People who have:
    • Cancer
    • Blood disorders (including sickle cell disease)
    • Chronic lung disease [including asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)]
    • Diabetes
    • Heart disease
    • Kidney disorders
    • Liver disorders
    • Neurological disorders (including nervous system, brain or spinal cord)
    • Neuromuscular disorders (including muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis)
    • Weakened immune systems (including people with AIDS)

Also, it's possible for healthy people to develop severe illness from the flu so anyone concerned about their illness should consult a health care provider.

*Information from CDC and Flu.gov.