Symptoms of the H1N1 Swine Flu Virus
This Flu Took Us by Surprise and We Didn't Have the Immunity to Fight it
The 2009 H1N1 or swine flu virus hit hard and had large numbers of people concerned for a possible pandemic outbreak. This influenza was different from others largely because very few of us had existing antibodies to this strain. When it hit the majority of us were virtually defenceless. This meant that there were a much larger portion of the population infected by this virus than would normally be by traditional strains.
This is the reason why extra care had to be taken to prevent the spread of this virus. We have less defences against it thereby making it a more contagious influenza strain. There was another aspect of this flu that meant future outbreaks could be just as deadly as the first. The speculation was true. The H1N1 had the ability to mutate so alike many other flu virus.
This adaption made it possible for even those previously exposed to no longer have immunity to the new H1N1 strain. Only receiving the newest vaccine could offer some degree of protection. Vaccination truly is an important preventative tool to use on an annual basis.
Contact Your doctor Immediately if You Have Any of These Symptoms
Shortness of breath or other difficulties with breathing.
Dizziness or confusion.
Pain or pressure in the chest.
Persistent vomiting or diarrhea.
Bloody or odd coloured mucus.
The flu can bring with it other health complications. Stay safe and don't take chances with your health.
Stay Hydrated and Get Plenty of Vitamin C
So How Do You Know if You Have H1N1?
It can be difficult to tell the difference between the common cold, another flu, and the H1N1 virus. The symptoms of this flu really are not that different from the symptoms of traditional flu.
Runny or stuffy nose, fever, sore throat, cough, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle aches and pains are the typical symptoms of the swine flu virus. You may also have diarrhea or vomiting but these are a rarer symptom of the H1N1 influenza.
The H1N1 may be more difficult for some individuals to deal with and it may spread quicker because we have not built up an immunity to this virus. It is also a reoccurring flu as it continues to mutate and reappear in subsequent years.
If you have underlying health issues, please see a medical professional as soon as flu symptoms appear. Antiviral drugs must be started early in the illness and you may be a candidate to receive these.
Have You Had it Yet?
It's been around for a few years now so have you managed to evade it?
Antiviral Drugs: Tamiflu
Tamiflu is an antiviral drug. It inhibits an enzyme necessary for the flu virus to spread throughout the body, and this shortens the overall length of the flu, which also helps to prevent flu related complications from occurring.
Early treatment is essential so if you suspect that you may have contracted the H1N1 flu virus, contact your doctor or local health clinic as soon as possible. Tamiflu treatment should begin within two days of flu symptoms first appearing.
Tamiflu should not be given to children under the age of one.
Drink plenty of juice and water to flush the flu through your system. Lemon juice is a diuretic and will help quicken the removal of liquids.
Protect Yourself: Know how to prevent the H1N1 flu from spreading.
Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose unless it is necessary.
Do not shake hands as a means of greeting acquaintances, nod, or smile a greeting instead.
Wash your hands often and after each contact with another person. Use liquid sanitizers to clean shared surfaces such as telephones, computer keyboards, door knobs etc. that you come in contact with.
Keep your system strong. Eat a proper nutritional diet rich in antioxidants. Drink an abundance of water. Do not smoke or expose your body to other unnecessary toxins.
Avoid people who are obviously sick.
Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your arm. Sneezing into your hand, and then touching surfaces, will only help to spread the illness
Keep all surfaces that you come into contact with clean. Wash or disinfect them often throughout the day.
If you are ill, stay home, and help stop the spread of this influenza strain.
Honey and Lemon in Hot Water Can Help Soothe a Sore Throat
The Flu Shot Can Help You Avoid It
Do You Get the Vaccine Each Year?
How to Avoid Complications From the Flu
Stay home and avoid contact with other individuals as much as possible.
Call your nurse's line, or health clinic, to see if you should receive additional medical treatment.
Drink plenty of fluids. Coffee does not count!
Gargle with salt water or Listerine to kill germs and bacteria.
Clean your sinus passages with either a Neti pot or a simple salt water solution inhaled from your hand. Always use boiled or sterilized water in the sinus area.
Drink hot honey and lemon. Honey is an antibacterial and will kill germs and bacteria within your body. Lemon will help push the liquids through your body and this will help you eliminate the germs and bacteria quicker.
Keep your heat a little lower than you normally would. If at all possible try to allow fresh air to circulate within your home.
Add moisture to your air with a humidifier. If you do not have one, simply place glass jars of water throughout your home, the air itself will draw the moisture into it.
Drink a high antioxidant juice such as pomegranate, acai berry, or blueberry, or take an antioxidant supplement. If you feel that you are not getting a proper diet than also take a multivitamin supplement.
Try to move around throughout the day to prevent liquid from pooling in the lungs.
Get plenty of rest and don't overextend yourself. Allow your body time to heal itself.
To relieve congestion, get into a warm shower, and breath the steam in through your nose. Do deep breaths to help relieve congestion within the lung area.
If in doubt or if your symptoms become severe then seek medical attention as soon as possible.
As luck would have it. I caught the H1N1 flu virus.
October 22/ 2009:
I am writing this article because I am now into my fourth day of the H1N1 flu. The outbreak in our community is quite substantial and it was announced on the radio this morning that there have now been 3 deaths in our region from it. I am sure that there will be more and I am really hoping that I will not be one of them.
I have underlying health issues and so am one of those very lucky individuals to be in a high risk group for complications. I have a little something on my immune system known as Jo-1 Antibodies. These are a marker for people who suffer from a very rare illness known as antisynthetase syndrome.
I began to prepare for the H1N1 flu about three months ago. I began a course of super antioxidant supplements. These antioxidants gave me additional energy which I was then able to use to initiate an exercise therapy program. One of my main priorities in this was lung strengthening exercises because my illness does come with lung issues.
I was very lucky in that I contacted my health professionals within the first two days of the illness and so was able to be given the antiviral drug TAMIFLU. I had no idea that this drug was available for individuals like myself. Just knowing that I have something to help me fight the H1N1 flu virus makes me feel considerably less afraid.
Steam Can Help Open Those Clogged Sinuses
So How Am I Feeling?
Hmmm? Not too well. I feel like some type of sniffling, sneezing, oozing blob of sludge. My nose is like a tap and I am so congested that I feel almost hollow.
Luckily my sore throat departed some time last night probably courtesy of all the salt water that I have gargled throughout the first couple days.
The cough has been a dry one since the onset of this, and it remains so, hopefully that is a good thing. The lung issues are of course one of my largest concerns so I am trying to keep my lungs working as much as possible.
I tried a slow walk on the treadmill yesterday, but only made it four minutes before my heart went crazy, and I had to stop. I then cranked the music up louder and decided that I would do a little singing and dancing throughout the day to help keep my lungs clear. Ha! Well that sort of wound up being nothing more than a jig and a shuffle as I wound my way over to refill my water cup and then wound up heading in the opposite direction to the bathroom.
I think that sludge actually has more energy than I do right now so if you see one out there dancing around give it a smack for me. Misery loves company.
This is not a very nice little flu but I am fighting it and that is what counts.
Please say a little prayer for me. Although I have done everything that I can to prepare for this a little extra help is always appreciated.
Get Your Shot
It can help protect you against this strain of flu.
I Never Knew a Flu Could Last This Long
October 23 - 2009
Day 5 of the H1N1 and I am still here. Yahoo!
Last night was a rough one because the congestion kept me awake half the night. I guess the body likes to know that it can breathe rather than just hoping that it happens. This afternoon I have more energy than yesterday but the mucous seems to be heading downward now to my upper chest. I think that it will be the next couple days that tell whether it will move downward into my lungs, or take a hike, and leave me alone to recover from this thing.
I'm going to try this afternoon to do a few yoga breathing exercises and see if that will encourage my body to deal with this thing in a rational manner.
October 24 - 2009
Day 6 of the H1N1 and I feel much better. I woke up at 1:30 this morning congested but discovered that I could breath deeply into my lungs again. So I forced myself to get up and have another hot lemon. I guess my singing and dancing around the house yesterday might have helped to clear my lungs.
I still had a lot of head congestion this morning when I woke up, but it disappeared pretty quick, and I sure feel good now. I have one more Tamiflu pill left and then it is gone but I think that I am safe now. Sure hope so! I don't know if it helped but I sure wouldn't have wanted to do this without it.
I think that I am going to try to go out today, just so I can walk around a bit, and I can get some fresh air into my lungs. A friend of my daughters who has asthma has the H1N1 too and she told me that using her inhalers more often has helped her. I am starting to puff on mine a little more too because this flu does seem to sit largely in the bronchial area.
October 25 - 2009
Day 7 of the H1N1 flu, and I woke up with my bronchial congested, and hurting. Scared the heck out of me. Paul and I went out for a little walk around the grocery store, and just getting out into the fresh air, moving around seemed to help. I feel better this evening. I am still having little chest pains but that could also be my illness reacting to the additional stress on my muscles.
October 26 - 2009
Day 8 of the H1N1 and I think that I have it beat! I am still a little congested but I think that I have this pig beat (pardon the pun). I can honestly say that I feel almost normal today.
I can see how this thing would affect people with asthma very badly. If you get this illness, and you have asthma, try to keep moving around a little. Not enough to stress your heart but enough to keep working this thing out of your lung area. Also increase your puffer usage as it does seem to really help. Maybe the H1N1 flu adds inflammation to the bronchial area? I'm not a doctor, so I am just guessing, but keep yourself safe!
October 28 - 2009
Day 10 and I went to the doctor this morning to have my heart checked out just to make sure that everything is okay in there. She said to just take it easy, and let my body heal itself, and that it can take a month or more for the cough to go away. I hate this thing!
On that note I think that I'll sign off for today and I'll post again in about a week when I hopefully feel a little better.
November 01 - 2009
Okay so I am not feeling better! I woke up last night to go to the bathroom and discovered that I was peeing blood. Not a little blood, plain old peeing blood, just like that which would go into a test tube. Scared the heck out of me so off to the emergency ward I went. Diagnosis: a severe bladder infection.
Relieved that I wasn't dying from the H1N1 home I went. The bleeding stopped later that night.
I must have been too sick to feel the bladder infection coming on, or maybe it is a side dish served up with this flu, whatever the case I am now on antibiotics. To add insult to injury the starter on my car is dying rapidly. My car and I are definitely of like mind. Neither of us likes to work in the winter.
Still sniffling and blowing my nose. I also have the cough still but most of the congestion is gone. I am dog tired.
November 12 - 2009
Went to the doctor to test if my bladder infection was healed up, and was informed that it was not a bacterial infection, because the culture did not multiply under lab settings....huh?
Okay. Then please tell me what exactly happened and why the hospital sent me home when I was bleeding buckets? Doc did another urine test to check things out.
January 23 - 2009
I get the all clear, everything looks good, and I am finally beginning to believe that I have survived the swine flu. Yahoooo!
That was one nasty little virus and I really do not want to do it again. There are suggestions that people like myself who take immune suppressants on a daily basis may need to take two anti-virus flu shots rather than just the standard one. I wonder if this means that I have to catch the flu twice before I am completely immune to it? Anyone want to hazard a guess on that one?
Thank God I had the Tamiflu medication as I cannot imagine this adventure without it.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2009 Lorelei Cohen