THE ILLNESS: H1N1 influenza is contagious. It's mainly spread by coughing or sneezing as infected droplets come into contact with another person. People also can pick up the virus from a doorknob or other infected surfaces.
SYMPTOMS: Fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue. Patients may have diarrhea and vomiting. Symptoms usually are mild to moderate; most patients fully recover.
Cover coughs and sneezes with an elbow, sleeve or tissue. Coughing into hands can spread germs to others.
Wash hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, even after washing your hands.
Avoid close contact with sick people.
Stay home if you are sick.
Rest, stay hydrated and talk with your doctor about a fever reducer or prescription Tamiflu, which can control the virus. Seek immediate medical attention if you or a child have these warning signs:
In children, fast breathing or trouble breathing; bluish or gray skin color; not drinking enough fluids; severe or persistent vomiting; not waking up or interacting.
In adults, difficulty breathing; pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen; sudden dizziness; confusion; severe or persistent vomiting.