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Swine flu (H1N1) - what to ask your doctor - adult

 

Definition

Swine flu is an infection of the nose, throat, and (sometimes) lungs caused by the H1N1 virus.

Below are some questions you may want to ask your doctor or nurse to help you prevent or take care of the swine flu.

Alternate Names

What to ask your doctor about the swine flu - adult; Influenza - swine - what to ask your doctor - adult; H1N1 - what to ask your doctor - adult

Questions

What are the symptoms of the swine flu?

  • Will I have a fever? How high? How long will it last? Can a high fever be dangerous?
  • Will I have a cough? Sore throat? Runny nose? Headache? Other symptoms? How long will these symptoms last? Will I be tired or achy?
  • Can I become very sick? How will I know if I have pneumonia?
  • How is the swine flu different from the regular flu?

When will I start to feel better?

Can I make other people sick? How can I prevent that? What should I do if I have a young child at home? How about somebody who is older?

What should I eat or drink? How much?

What medicines can I buy at the store to help with the symptoms?

  • What medicines are safe to take for the fever? Acetaminophen (Tylenol)? Aspirin? Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)? How about cold medicines?
  • Are there stronger medicines that my doctor can prescribe to help the symptoms?
  • Are there vitamins or herbs that will make my cold or flu go away quicker? How do I know if they are safe?

Are there other (antiviral) medicines that can make the flu go away faster?

How can I keep from getting the swine flu?

Should I get a swine flu shot?

  • What time of year should I get one? Do I need one or two shots?
  • What are the risks of the swine flu shot? What are the risks for me or others around me if I do not get this shot?
  • Is the shot safe if I am pregnant?
  • Do I still need the regular flu shot?
  • Will a flu shot keep me from getting colds all year long?

Does smoking or being around smokers cause me to get the flu more easily? Are there vitamins or herbs that I can take to prevent the flu?


Review Date: 9/24/2009
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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