Facing off with H1N1

Updated Aug 12, 2014

H1N1CDC H1N1 Facts

H1N1 is a new influenza virus causing illness to people.

The virus was originally referred to as “swine flu” because testing showed that many of its genes were very similar to influenza viruses that normally occur in North American pigs. H1N1 is contagious and spreads mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing by people with influenza.

The symptoms of the 2009 H1N1 flu virus include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Illness with 2009 H1N1 virus has ranged from mild to severe.

While some diagnosed with H1N1 have recovered without needing medical treatment, hospitalizations and deaths from infection with the virus have occurred. People infected with seasonal and 2009 H1N1 flu may be able to infect others from one day before getting sick to five to seven days after. There is a vaccine to protect against seasonal flu viruses and a 2009 H1N1 vaccine to protect against the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus. Other means of protecting against H1N1 include:

* 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. Germs spread this way.
* Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
* If you are sick with flu-like illness, the CDC recommends you to stay home at least 24 hours after your fever is gone.