H1N1 Facts

By Marisela Burgos - bio | email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) -There are still many questions about H1N1, what is it, and how do you know if you have it.  Doctors say the uncertainty about H1N1 can make people nervous.  Floyd County Health Director, Dr. Tom Harris said he is constantly trying to stay up to date with the most current news about the virus.
Dr. Harris believes there is a slight paranoia about the virus.  "There's no clear one symptom that says this is swine flu compared to other viral illnesses," he said.  To be clear, the symptoms are as follows: severe fever, coughing, nausea, vomiting, body aches, and fatigue.
Dr. Harris said the symptoms are abrupt and that a person's cough is prominent.  "Generally it is not a subtle diagnosis for most people. I mean, you feel bad," he said.
If you believe you have the symptoms for H1N1 at what point do you see a doctor?  Dr. Harris said, "if you feel like you need treatment that's probably the best indication whether you need treatment or not".
Dr. Harris said it’s always better to air in the side of caution.  If someone you know has the virus, Dr. Harris said to just have casual contact with that person.  If a person is sick, maybe keep them in another room so that other people in the house do not get infected.
There are many questions about Tami flu.  Dr. Harris said the drug is effective when it’s used. If a person has mild symptoms, it is up to their doctor to determine whether the drug is necessary.
He recommends a person diagnosed with H1N1 stay home 24 hours after their fever has gone away.  He said it prevents people from spreading the virus to others.  Once you have symptoms, Dr. Harris says you should contact your healthcare provider within 48 hours because, if you are prescribed an anti-viral they are more effective during that 48-hour period.
To put it into perspective, Dr. Harris said the chickenpox is more contagious than H1N1.

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