Influenza A Symptoms: Swine Flu FAQ

Influenza a symptomsInfluenza A is a strain of flu that originates in pigs.  Swine flu causes high levels of illness but low rates of death in pigs. Influenza A symptoms in pigs (or humans) are not much different than standard flu symptoms. Swine flu virus was first isolated in 1930 from an infected pig and is classified as an A H1N1 virus.Though influenza A symptoms can circulate among swine throughout the year, most outbreaks occur during the late fall and winter months, similar to the flu season for humans.  Influenza A symptoms can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue

Do people get influenza A symptoms?

Yes. When an influenza virus like swine flu gets passed to a human, it is called a variant; thus, influenza A symptoms are variants of the symptoms of the original flu virus. The cases of swine flu are actually increasing. There used to be roughly one case every flu season, but variant transmissions are now growing.

Do you have to be around pig to get influenza A?

That’s the most common way for swine flu to be transmitted. But once a human has influenza A symptoms, the virus can be passed like any other flu by contact with an infected person’s germs. If you have influenza A symptoms, it is important to frequently wash your hands and try to cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing.  Do not kiss your children or loved ones while you are ill.

How do I know these are influenza A symptoms?

To diagnose these as influenza A symptoms, a respiratory specimen would need to be collected in the first 4 to 5 days from symptom onset. The virus may be present in a child’s body for up to 10 days. If a variant influenza virus is suspected, it is sent to CDC for further testing.

Can I get influenza A from eating pork?

No. Swine flu has not been shown to be transmitted from eating pork, ham, or other pig-related food products.

Is there treatment for influenza A symptoms?

Yes. Come to your the FastMed Urgent Care closest to your location and talk to a medical professional.  Antiviral drugs can be prescribed to help reduce the duration and severity of your symptoms. You will need to rest, stay hydrated, and use over-the-counter medications to help with congestion, sore throat, or aches and pains.

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