Doctor's Notes on Swine Flu (Novel H1N1 Influenza and H3N2v)
Swine flu is a type of influenza that originates in pigs. Swine flu is caused by a specific strain of the H1N1 virus and the newest swine flu virus, H3N2v. There are many strains of the virus that only infect pigs. Only certain strains also affect humans. Swine flu is contagious and is spread from person-to-person.
Symptoms of both H1N1 and H3N2v strains of the swine flu include a respiratory infection. Signs of respiratory infection include fever, cough, and sore throat. Other symptoms of swine flu include fatigue, chills, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Symptoms in very young children may include listlessness or shortness of breath.
Rarely, swine flu can cause severe symptoms including pneumonia or respiratory failure leading to death.
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Coughs (Acute and Chronic)A cough is a symptom of an underlying disease or condition. A chronic or persistent cough may signal certain lung conditions that should be evaluated by a healthcare professional. Common causes of coughs include infection, allergies, lung disease, medications, and GERD (reflux). Acute coughs are categorized as infectious or non-infectious. Chronic cough (persistent cough) have a variety of causes and should be evaluated by physician. Treatment of cough, acute cough, chronic or persistent cough depends on the cause of the cough.
Fever (in Adults)A fever is a body temperature of 100.4 F or greater. A fever may be caused by a virus, bacteria, fungus, blood clot, tumor, drug, or the environment. Treatment of fever in adults usually involves ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or aspirin.
Fever in ChildrenFever is defined as a rectal temperature over 100.4 F or 38 C. Fever isn't life-threatening unless it is persistently high - greater than a 107 F rectal temperature. Fever is usually caused by an infection. Treatment focuses on controlling the temperature, preventing dehydration, and monitoring for serious illness.
Influenza (Flu) in AdultsFlu (influenza) is an acute infection of the nose and throat airways. This infection may spread to the lungs. Flu is the most frequent cause of acute respiratory infection in people of all ages. Symptoms of the flu include fever, severe aches and pains, headache, dry cough, sore throat, and at times vomiting and nausea. Treatment for the flu includes home remedies such as OTC pain relievers, rest, and hydration. Medical treatment for the flu includes antiviral medications.
Sore ThroatSore throats are generally named for the anatomical site affected, such as: the pharynx, tonsils, adenoids, larynx, and epiglottis. Sore throat treatment depends on the cause, infection, viral, or fungal.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.