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What To Look For: Swine Flu and its Symptoms

If you have been watching the news lately, viral infection called the swine flu has been a hot topic. It basically is a mutated version of the influenza virus that came from pigs, birds, and humans. So far, it has not been an issue in the Washington state but we will have to keep an alert for possible epidemic since so much Eastside patients travel for vacation and work.

Lot of my patents have been calling because they are uncertain if they should come in or not. So, here is a chart to review and should call for an appointment if you or your child has these symptoms.

In children:

  • High fever(above 103 degrees), or a fever that lasts for more than 3 days
  • Symptoms that last for more than 10 days
  • Trouble breathing, fast breathing or wheezing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Earache or drainage from the ear
  • Changes in mental state (such as not waking up, irritability or seizures)
  • Flu-like symptoms that improve, but return with a fever and a worse cough
  • Worsening of a chronic medical condition (such as diabetes or heart disease)
  • Vomiting or abdominal pain

In adults:

  • A high, prolonged fever (above 102 degrees) with fatigue and aches
  • Symptoms that last for more than 10 days or get worse instead of better
  • Trouble breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest
  • Fainting or feeling like you are about to faint
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Severe sinus pain in your face or forehead
  • Very swollen glands in the neck or jaw

You can reduce your risk of catching a cold or the flu by washing your hands frequently, which stops the spread of germs. Eating healthy, exercising and getting enough sleep also play a part in preventing colds and the flu because they help boost your immune system.

If you are sick, make sure that you cover your mouth when you cough and wash your hands often to prevent giving your cold or flu to others.