H1N1 Virus and Me

If you think you are sick, STAY HOME.

So the other week, my boyfriend's coworker was diagnosed with h1n1 (confirmed case). Friday, my daughter gets a cough and a very sudden fever, stuffy nose, sneezing, lethargic, etc. Two days after that, my boyfriend gets a very sudden cough and fever onset as well. He ended up calling 811 - the magical hotline we have here in BC which is manned by nurses -- at 3:00 AM while I was sleeping :P  He waited on the line for one hour before being able to get through. The nurse on the line said that he was one of the first person to call in with a probable cause of concern and said that it was almost definitely the h1n1 virus.

Sudden cough and sudden onset of fever is how the h1n1 usually begins. Other symptoms include fatigue, muscle ache, sore throat, headache, decreased eppetite, and a runny nose. Only sometimes will someone with the h1n1 virus get nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

If you have h1n1, some things to watch out for include shortness of breath, chest pain, bluish or grey skin colour, bloody (or other coloured) mucus, sudden diziness or confusion, severe vomiting, high fever that lasts more than 3 days, low blood pressure, and relapsing symptoms after a day or so of being symptom-free.

People at risk of developing complications include children under 5, pregnant women, sufferers of heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, asthma or other chronic lung diseases, liver disease, blood disorders, severe obesity, immunosuppressed persons, and those with neurological disorders.

This virus is a little more harsh than the normal flu since a seemingly healthy person can go from mild symptoms to quite severe symptoms in a matter of hours or days. It is also more harsh because it is spread through the air as respiratory precautions (simple breathing can spread it) rather than droplet (sneezing, coughing, etc.) like the normal flu(s). Of course, it still has the same rules -- wash your hands, cough and sneeze into your sleeve, stay home if you are sick, stay home if you are sick, and... Stay home if you are sick!  Stay home until you have been symptom-free for 48 hours.

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