05 Nov Is Pandemic H1N1 the same as the seasonal flu?
No. The virus that causes Pandemic H1N1 (formerly known as the swine flu) is a new type of flu virus. Pandemic H1N1 is a respiratory infection responsible for large outbreaks in many parts of the world. Both types of the flu can be serious. The good news is that getting a vaccine and practicing simple prevention steps such as washing your hands often can prevent them both.
The main way that flu viruses spread is through droplets from a sick person when they cough or sneeze. Flu viruses can also live on surfaces such as tables, faucets or doorknobs for up to eight hours. You can become infected with the flu by touching an infected surface, then touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
Many of the symptoms are the same for both flu viruses. These include fever, dry cough, sore throat, stuffy nose, body aches, headache and tiredness. The Pandemic H1N1 flu may also cause sever symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting and can lead to serious complications such as sudden dizziness, trouble breathing and pain or pressure in the chest or stomach. Visit a doctor immediately if you have any severe symptoms.
Pandemic H1N1 is treated the same way as the seasonal flu- with lots of fluids and plenty of rest away from work or school. It is recommended to stay home and rest for at least 24 hours after a fever ends. For more serious flu symptoms, a doctor may prescribe an antiviral medication.
To protect yourself and your family from the flu, following some simple everyday tips can help, such as cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you sneeze or cough, wash your hands with soap and water and/or use gel sanitizers, avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth since germs spread that way, and avoid close contact with those who are sick or showing flu-like symptoms.