H1N1 Virus (Swine Flu) – Frequently Asked Questions

From: Public Health Seattle & Kind County

H1N1 virus (swine flu) – Frequently Asked Questions

What is H1N1 virus?
H1N1 virus, also known as “swine flu” and “swine Influenza A” is a virus that can spread from people  who are infected to others through coughs and sneezes. When people cough or sneeze, they spread germs  through the air or onto surfaces that other people may touch. H1N1 virus is not transmitted from pigs to  humans or from eating pork products.

What should I do to keep from getting the H1N1 virus?
First and most important: wash your hands and avoid close contact with people who are sick.

What are the symptoms of H1N1 virus?
The symptoms of H1N1 virus in people are similar to seasonal flu: fever, cough, sore throat, body aches,  headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting.

Are there medicines for H1N1 virus?
Yes, there are antiviral medicines to help treat the H1N1 virus. These prescription medicines work best if  started within 2 days of flu symptoms. A health care provider must determine whether someone is sick enough to need the medication. There is currently no vaccine to prevent H1N1 virus.

What should I do if I am sick?
• Stay home from work or school and don’t travel. Get better and keep others from getting sick.
• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your inner elbow when you cough or sneeze.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have access to soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

How should I decide if I should seek medical care?
People should make decisions about when to seek medical care as they would under normal circumstances. Consult with a health care provider or seek medical care for the following:
• fever, along with any of the following symptoms
• rapidly worsening illness
• person is unresponsive and unable to get out of bed
• bad sore throat or severe cough
• chest pain

If you need medical care and don’t have a medical provider or health insurance, call the Community Health Access Program at 800-756-5437. You will not be asked to provide proof of immigration status.

For more information and on-going updates:
Public Health – Seattle & King County, www.kingcounty.gov/health/h1n1
Flu Hotline, 877-903-5464, recorded information about H1N1 flu, 24 hours/day. Also in Spanish.
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu
Washington State Department of Health, www.doh.wa.gov/swineflu

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