Last year, "swine flu" was all over the news. This strain of flu virus (a combination of flu viruses that affect pigs, birds, and humans) first surfaced in spring 2009. Later that year, health experts declared an H1N1 "pandemic," meaning the new virus had spread widely around the world and there was a risk a lot of people could become seriously ill.
In the end, the H1N1 pandemic turned out to be far less serious than previous flu pandemics. H1N1 influenza is still around, but it's less of a health concern than it once was. So what's the story with H1N1?
H1N1 spreads the same way as other flu viruses do — through the air when a person who has the virus sneezes, coughs, or speaks. People also can catch the virus after touching an object that someone with the virus sneezed or coughed on.
As with other flu viruses, people who have H1N1 can be contagious a day or so before their symptoms start. So they can pass it on before they even know they're sick.
Symptoms of H1N1 flu are similar to other flu symptoms. A person may notice:
Some people also might have diarrhea or vomiting.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people take the following precautions against any type of flu:
Reviewed by: Kate M. Cronan, MD
Date reviewed: October 2010
|H1N1 (Swine) Flu Website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) The CDC's site has up-to-date information on H1N1 (swine) flu outbreaks, symptoms, prevention, and more.|
|Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) The mission of the CDC is to promote health and quality of life by preventing and controlling disease, injury, and disability. Call: (800) CDC-INFO|
|U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) The USDA works to enhance the quality of life for people by supporting the production of agriculture.|
|Hand Washing Did you know that the most important thing you can do to keep from getting sick is to wash your hands? If you don't wash your hands frequently, you can pick up germs from other sources and then infect yourself.|
|Bird Flu (Avian Flu) What is bird flu? And should you be worried? We've put together answers to some of the common questions people have about bird flu.|
|5 Ways to Fight the Flu Get tips for fending off the flu in this article for teens.|
|Flu Facts If you have the flu, you'll have lots of company. Each year, as many as 60 million people come down with the flu. People in every age group - including teens - can catch it.|
|What to Do if You Get the Flu You've probably heard warnings about flu season. If you do get the flu this year, read this article on how to feel better.|
What to expect when coming to Akron Children's
For healthcare providers and nurses
Residency & Fellowships, Medical Students, Nursing and Allied Health
For prospective employees and career-seekers
Our online community that provides inspirational stories and helpful information.