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H1N1 Influenza
Influenza Pandemic Home Page
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Rensselaer Student Health Center
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New York State
Swine Flu Hotline:

1-800-808-1987

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The H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) Outbreak

Updated: 9/16/09, 5:17 PM

Signs & Symptoms
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Can you tell the difference between symptoms of flu and the common cold? To learn more about your symptoms and if they are associated with the flu, check out the Symptoms at a Glance Chart.

The symptoms of H1N1 flu virus in people are similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu and include:

  • fever
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • body aches
  • headache
  • chills
  • fatigue

A significant number of people who have been infected with this virus also have reported diarrhea and vomiting.  Also, like seasonal flu, severe illnesses and death has occurred as a result of illness associated with this virus.

Most people experience mild illness and recover at home. A person should seek medical care if they experience shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, or if a fever continues more than three days. For parents with a young child who is ill, seek medical care if a child has fast or labored breathing, continuing fever or convulsions (seizures).

Supportive care at home — resting, drinking plenty of fluids and using a pain reliever for aches — is adequate for recovery in most cases. (A non-aspirin pain reliever should be used by children and young adults because of the risk of Reye's syndrome.)

Before seeking health care, please view this self triage guide.

If you have these symptoms, please call the Student Health Center to schedule an appointment: (518) 276-6287.

If you feel unwell, have high fever, cough or sore throat:

  • stay at home and keep away from work, school or crowds;
  • rest and take plenty of fluids;
  • cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing and, if using tissues, make sure you dispose of them carefully. Clean your hands immediately after with soap and water or cleanse them with an alcohol-based hand rub;
  • if you do not have a tissue close by when you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth as much as possible with the crook of your elbow;
  • use a mask to help you contain the spread of droplets when you are around others, but be sure to do so correctly;
  • inform family and friends about your illness and try to avoid contact with other people;
  • If possible, contact a health professional before traveling to a health facility to discuss whether a medical examination is necessary.
  • Under current flu conditions, anyone with flu-like symptoms should stay home for at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever (100 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius) or signs of a fever (have chills, feel very warm, have a flushed appearance, or are sweating). This should be determined without the use of fever-reducing medications (any medicine that contains ibuprofen or acetaminophen).
  • The sick person may decide to stop taking fever-reducing medicines as he or she begins to feel better. This person should continue to monitor his or her temperature until it has been normal for 24 hours.
  • If flu conditions become more severe, the sick person should stay home for 7 days. A person who is still sick after 7 days should stay home until 24 hours after their symptoms have gone away. Sick people should stay at home, except if they need to get medical care, and they should avoid contact with others. Keeping people with a fever at home may reduce the number of people who get infected with the flu virus.
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