It is important to be aware of swine flu symptoms so that you can seek medical help if needed and get the proper treatment. Symptoms of swine flu are actually similar to the symptoms of influenza in general, and include fever, headaches, muscle aches, fatigue, sore throat, coughing, sneezing, and chills. Swine flu symptoms also include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, which are less common flu symptoms. Symptoms of swine flu may be more severe than typical flu symptoms, but this is not always the case. Many people just get a mild case of swine flu.
A swine flu vaccine has been approved and should be available around mid-October. It is expected that the vaccine will require two different shots, given a week or two apart. It takes a couple of weeks for the vaccine to "kick in," so you would not actually be immune until sometime in November. A regular flu vaccine, the kind designed to protect against type A influenza, will not offer protection against swine flu. See your doctor if you want to get a swine flu vaccine.
There are other things you can do to protect yourself against swine flu. Keep your distance from anyone who is sick, especially if they have swine flu symptoms. Swine flu is very contagious, and you can only get it from other people who have it. Despite its name, people do not catch the current swine flu virus from pigs. The current swine flu virus is similar to a flu virus seen in pigs, but it is not the same. There are some types of flu that people can get from pigs, though this is rare. The current swine flu is not one of these viruses, however.
Wash your hands frequently. The swine flu is often transmitted when a sick person coughs or sneezes on something, like a telephone or doorknob, and then a healthy person touches that surface and then touches their nose or mouth.
If you go to the doctor for swine flu symptoms, your doctor may do a test to determine if you actually have swine flu or if it is just the regular kind of flu. Treatment is pretty much the same, though, so tests may not be necessary.
Antiviral medications are sometimes prescribed for swine flu, although the virus will usually go away on its own even without treatment. Antiviral medications can speed the recovery process, though, and may also help prevent secondary complications like pneumonia.
You can treat symptoms of swine flu with over-the-counter remedies. For instance, you can take Tylenol for fever, antihistamines for a runny nose, decongestants for a stuffy head, and cough suppressants for a cough. Be careful about taking a bunch of over-the-counter medications at the same time, though. You can talk to your doctor or the pharmacist about the best medications to take for swine flu symptoms.
Antiviral medications and over-the-counter remedies can have side effects, which may be troubling to some people. Some people prefer to use natural remedies, which are often more effective.
See your doctor in mid-fall if you want to get a swine flu vaccine. If you have symptoms of swine flu, you might want to see your doctor for antiviral medication. You should definitely see your doctor if your symptoms are very severe, if you have a very high fever, if your symptoms last longer than a week or so, or if you have trouble breathing.
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