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Swine Flu Concerns Continue to Grow

by Sue Hubbard, M.D.

I am seeing some cases of suspected novel influenza A H1N1 (swine flu) in my office and have been hearing about cases in the community, which means we are all probably being exposed to this virus.
That does not mean that there needs to be mass hysteria or even sleepless nights worrying about swine flu (some of the phone calls I am receiving have prompted me to write that). This virus is not going away and will probably become more prevalent as the kids from summer camp, where we continue to see cases, come home and school starts.

It is unusual for influenza viruses to circulate during the summer months. We don’t have history to go on with this virus, but suspicions are that it will become more prevalent during the fall and winter months and will most likely circulate along with seasonal influenza A. In other words, this is going to be a long flu season.

Looking at the literature that has been published since this past spring when novel H1N1 was first diagnosed, this virus seems to cause typical influenza like symptoms with fever, cough sore throat, body aches, and occasionally vomiting and diarrhea. In most cases people who have contracted swine flu have not been terribly ill and fortunately the mortality rate to date has not been as high as initially feared. The majority of people have had a flu-like illness lasting anywhere from three to seven days followed by a prolonged cough and the classic fatigue that follows flu. Some younger children have been fever free within 24

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