TOBAGO REGIONAL HEALTH AUTHORITY  

TIPS FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY FOR THE PREVENTION OF  INFLUENZA (H1N1)

What is Influenza A H1N1 (Swine Flu)?
The influenza A H1N1 virus is a new flu virus spreading among humans. The virus is highly contagious and causes respiratory illness that is similar to the seasonal influenza.  Countries with cases of swine flu include Mexico, the Unites States, Canada, Germany (3), Israel, New Zealand, Spain and the United Kingdom among others.

Influenza A H1N1 is a new virus. Most persons do not have resistance and immunity to it. Anyone can get the swine flu, even healthy people, and serious problems from the flu can happen at any age.  The flu also can make chronic health problems worse. For example, people with asthma may experience asthma attacks while they have the flu, and people with chronic congestive heart failure may have worsening of this condition.


What are the Signs and Symptoms of A H1N1 Flu in People?
Generally clinical symptoms are similar to seasonal influenza.  Symptoms range from very mild illness or no symptoms at all, to severe pneumonia which can result in death.
Symptoms include:

  • Fever (High fever over 38°C/ 101 F)
  • Sore Throat
  • Runny Nose
  • Cough
  • Headaches and body pains
  • Fatigue and tiredness
  • Stomach symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea,
    also can occur.
  • Severe illness can include pneumonia, pain in chest when taking a breath, respiratory failure and death

In children emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Not drinking enough water or other fluids
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Other conditions like diabetes or asthma that get worse

In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness and confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting

For more information check out the Ministry of Health Website