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H1N1 Influenza (Swine Flu) Treatment & Management

  • Author: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
 
Updated: Feb 22, 2016
 

Medical Care

Treatment is largely supportive and consists of bedrest, increased fluid consumption, cough suppressants, and antipyretics and analgesics (eg, acetaminophen, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) for fever and myalgias. Severe cases may require intravenous hydration and other supportive measures. Antiviral agents may also be considered for treatment or prophylaxis (see Medication).

Patients should be encouraged to stay home if they become ill, to avoid close contact with people who are sick, to wash their hands often, and to avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth. The CDC recommends the following actions when human infection with H1N1 influenza (swine flu) is confirmed in a community[1] :

  • Patients who develop flulike illness (ie, fever with either cough or sore throat) should be strongly encouraged to self-isolate in their home for 7 days after the onset of illness or at least 24 hours after symptoms have resolved, whichever is longer.
  • To seek medical care, patients should contact their health care providers to report illness (by telephone or other remote means) before seeking care at a clinic, physician's office, or hospital.
  • Patients who have difficulty breathing or shortness of breath or who are believed to be severely ill should seek immediate medical attention.
  • If the patient must go into the community (eg, to seek medical care), he or she should wear a face mask to reduce the risk of spreading the virus in the community when coughing, sneezing, talking, or breathing. If a face mask is unavailable, ill persons who need to go into the community should use tissues to cover their mouth and nose while coughing.
  • While in home isolation, patients and other household members should be given infection control instructions, including frequent hand washing with soap and water. Use alcohol-based hand gels (containing at least 60% alcohol) when soap and water are not available and hands are not visibly dirty. Patients with H1N1 influenza should wear a face mask when within 6 feet of others at home.
 
 
Contributor Information and Disclosures
Author

Michael Stuart Bronze, MD David Ross Boyd Professor and Chairman, Department of Medicine, Stewart G Wolf Endowed Chair in Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Oklahoma Health Science Center; Master of the American College of Physicians; Fellow, Infectious Diseases Society of America

Michael Stuart Bronze, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American Medical Association, Oklahoma State Medical Association, Southern Society for Clinical Investigation, Association of Professors of Medicine, American College of Physicians, Infectious Diseases Society of America

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Mary L Windle, PharmD Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Russell W Steele, MD Clinical Professor, Tulane University School of Medicine; Staff Physician, Ochsner Clinic Foundation

Russell W Steele, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Pediatrics, American Association of Immunologists, American Pediatric Society, American Society for Microbiology, Infectious Diseases Society of America, Louisiana State Medical Society, Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, Society for Pediatric Research, Southern Medical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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This preliminary negative stained transmission electron micrograph depicts some of the ultrastructural morphology of the A/CA/4/09 swine flu virus. Courtesy of CDC/ C. S. Goldsmith and A. Balish.
Swine influenza virus. Colorized transmission electron micrograph (37,800X) of the A/New Jersey/76 (Hsw1N1) virus under plate magnification. Image taken during the virus' first developmental passage through a chicken egg. Courtesy of the CDC/Dr. E. Palmer; R.E. Bates.
Phase 6 criteria: In addition to the criteria defined in Phase 5, the same virus has caused sustained community-level outbreaks in at least one other country in another WHO region. Courtesy of the WHO.
Negative stained transmission electron micrograph of recreated 1918 influenza virions. Courtesy of CDC/ Dr. Terrence Tumpey.
This preliminary negative stained transmission electron micrograph depicts some of the ultrastructural morphology of the A/CA/4/09 swine flu virus. Courtesy of CDC/ C. S. Goldsmith and A. Balish.
 
 
 
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