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SC State University gives you the facts on the H1N1 flu and tips to stay healthy.

What is H1N1?

2009 H1N1, referred to as “swine flu” early on, is a new influenza virus causing illness in people. This new virus was first detected in people in the United States in April, 2009. This virus is spreading from person-to-person worldwide, probably in much the same way that regular seasonal influenza viruses spread. On June 11, 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) signaled that a pandemic of 2009 H1N1 flu was underway.

Symptoms of H1N1

The symptoms of novel H1N1 flu virus in people are similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. A significant number of people who have been infected with novel H1N1 flu virus also have reported diarrhea and vomiting. People at higher risk of serious complications from seasonal flu include people age 65 years and older, children younger than 5 years old, pregnant women, people of any age with chronic medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease, and people who are immunosuppressed (e.g., taking immunosuppressive medications, infected with HIV).

Prevention Tips

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine). Keep away from others as much as possible to prevent them from getting sick.

For more information on H1N1, click here to be directed to the website for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/qa.htm You may also contact the Brooks Health Center at (803) 536-7053.