13 Signs You've Caught Swine Flu
As cases of coronavirus mounted across the United States, officials announced this week that another flu outbreak might be on the horizon: A variant of swine flu has emerged in animals in Asia and "has pandemic potential," researchers say. While this latest variant hasn't yet infected humans, swine flu is nothing new to health officials. H1N1 caused a pandemic in 2009, infecting more than 1 million people in the U.S. These are the common signs of swine flu.
Often (but not always) seen in swine flu, fever—a persistently elevated body temperature over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit—can be managed by taking over-the-counter pain relievers and drinking plenty of fluids.
A persistent cough is a hallmark of swine flu, which is primarily a respiratory infection.
A scratchy or painful throat is common with swine flu. Eat soft foods and drink plenty of liquids. If your sore throat lasts longer than a week or is accompanied by a high fever or severe symptoms like difficulty breathing, see a doctor ASAP.
Shaking chills can accompany a fever. They're muscle contractions that can be caused by the virus, or by the body releasing protective substances to fight the bug off.
Body aches are also common with swine flu or a fever, which is caused by the body's inflammatory response to an invading virus.
Red or watery eyes could indicate you have conjunctivitis (pinkeye), which is often caused by viral infection of the eyes.
Sneezing, Runny or Stuffy Nose
Another classic symptom of flu, you might feel congested or have a runny nose or sneezing fits that have you constantly reaching for the Kleenex box.
Head pain has been reported with swine flu. You can manage this symptom with over-the-counter pain relievers; drinking plenty of fluids will prevent you from becoming dehydrated.
As with COVID-19, gastrointestinal problems such as queasiness can be a symptom of swine flu.
Vomiting is also a common gastrointestinal symptom of swine flu. The Cleveland Clinic recommends consulting your doctor if vomiting lasts for more than one day or if you have signs of dehydration.
Loose stools can be another uncomfortable symptom of swine flu. Call your doctor if it lasts more than 24 hours or you become dehydrated.
A classic flu symptom, fatigue—a feeling of tiredness that can range from mild to intense—is common with swine flu. Getting plenty of rest will help your body shake the infection faster.
Shortness of Breath
Like regular flu, swine flu can lead to complications like pneumonia, particularly if you have a respiratory condition. As for our current pandemic: To get through it at your healthiest, don't miss these Things You Should Never Do During the Coronavirus Pandemic.