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Have we been H1N1’d to death?

Submitted by jrlaw on Sep 3rd, 2009

We all know the H1N1 symptoms by now…similar to other flu’s so you may feel feverish, experience coughing, headaches, sore throat, joint/muscle pain, fatigue, a runny nose , get the chills or all of the above. For most of us, our first question is, how do we know if we just have a plain old cold and not the death marching virus? The real question should be, does my doctor know how to diagnose my symptoms as related to H1N1?

We have all heard that people with higher risk for contracting H1N1 is people age 65 or older and children 5 years or younger along with pregnant women and people with existing medical conditions like asthma, diabetes, HIV, heart disease and obesity. What if you fall in the gray area and your doctor doesn’t think to categorize you as a potential candidate? It helps to educate yourself for prevention. One option is to visit the Center for Disease Control website for more information on the virus. You can also review this practical chart on how H1N1 operates so you can see if you have had potential contact with it.

According to the World Health Organization, one can decrease their chances of contracting the flu virus by taking the following step:

• Avoid touching your mouth and nose;
• Clean hands thoroughly with soap and water, or cleanse them with an alcohol-based hand rub on a regular basis (especially if touching the mouth and nose, or surfaces that are potentially contaminated);
• Avoid close contact with people who might be ill;
• Reduce the time spent in crowded settings if possible;
• Improve airflow in your living space by opening windows;
• Practise good health habits including adequate sleep, eating nutritious food, and keeping physically active.

We may be inundated with H1N1 news so much that it begins to be like background noise. But, it is still a serious threat. If you think you may have contracted the H1N1 virus, here are some other symptoms your doctor should not ignore: shortness of breath, pain in the chest or abdomen, sudden dizziness or confusion or persistent vomiting. If you feel you have fallen ill because of a medical person’s misdiagnosis or error, be sure to contact us for immediate legal assistance.