H1N1 flu facts
2009 H1N1 influenza (also called Swine Flu) is caused by a new strain of influenza virus. Like other strains of influenza virus, H1N1 spreads from person to person through coughing, sneezing, and sometimes through touching objects contaminated with the virus.
Seasonal flu viruses change from year to year, but they are closely related to each other. H1N1 is a new flu virus and is very different from seasonal flu viruses.
Signs of H1N1 can include: fatigue, fever, sore throat, muscle aches, chills, coughing, and sneezing. Some people also have diarrhea and vomiting.
People with flu-like symptoms are advised to stay home from work and school and avoid contact with others so the virus does not spread and stay at home until free from fever for at least 24 hours after their last dose of fever-reducing medication.
Because H1N1 vaccine has been available only in limited quantities as manufacturers hurry to meet demand, federal and state medical officials have made it a priority to vaccinate certain high-risk groups first:
• Pregnant women
• Household contacts and caregivers for children younger than 6 months
• Healthcare and emergency medical services personnel
• Everyone aged 6 months through 24 years with high risk conditions
• Children from 6 months through 18 years
• Young adults 19 through 24 years
• Persons aged 25 through 64 years who have health conditions associated with higher risk of medical complications from influenza
The U.S Dept. of Health and Human Services has created a website to provide the latest H1N1 information at www.flu.gov.