Healthy living

Swine flu symptoms

sneezing is a symptom of swine flu Warning signs to look out for

Most people who contract swine flu will experience only mild symptoms similar to those of seasonal flu, and some people will not exhibit any symptoms at all. Unfortunately, a small number of people will have a more severe reaction to the virus. Children may show additional symptoms and need to be monitored closely. Listed below are handy check-lists for each case.

Mild symptoms

Swine flu symptoms are similar to those for seasonal flu. The most common are:

  • Sudden fever (body temperature higher that 38C or 100.4F)
  • Sudden cough

Again, like seasonal flu additional symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Tiredness
  • Chills
  • Aches in muscles and joints
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Loss of appetite

Swine flu may also cause stomach upsets and diarrhoea, which is unusual in seasonal flu.

Severe symptoms

Doctors recommend to look out for more severe symptoms which may require immediate medical attention. These are:

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • A high temperature lasting more than three days

Symptoms in children

For children, as well as all of the above, also look out for:

  • Difficulty in waking up
  • Lethargy
  • Lacking alertness

If your child exhibits any of these symptoms you should immediately contact your GP.

Swine flu and meningitis

The symptoms of meningitis may be mistaken for swine flu. Read this article for more information:Swine flu may mask meningitis.

TheFamilyGP guide to swine flu

Action plan

For tips on how to be prepared for swine flu, and important contact numbers and sources of information.

Swine flu background

Risk groups

Progress of the disease

This article was published on Fri 17 July 2009

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