Although the flu season hits the U.S. every year, this year seems to be particularly bad. According to a report from News Channel 5 Tennessee, the H1N1 influenza virus is making a strong and unwanted comeback this year:
The H1N1 strain of flu is back.
Also known as Swine Flu, doctors said H1N1 poses a risk to normally healthy, young people, in addition to those normally susceptible to the flu.
The last time we saw widespread cases of the virus in 2009.
Every year thousands of people nationwide die from the flu, but doctors said H1N1 is concerning because it can hospitalize healthy people in just 48 hours.
Dr. William Schaffner said it is not too late to get yourself vaccinated. He said don’t count on shots from previous years to cover you now.”
Swine flu is caused by a mutated H1N1 strain of influenza. Initially, this strain of influenza only affected pigs and a few people who work closely with pigs. However, influenza viruses rapidly evolve, which is why the H1N1 strain can now jump from person to person.
Swine flu typically shares the same symptoms as the regular flu: fever, dry cough, body aches, chills, headaches, and fatigue. However, people suffering from swine flu can also complain of vomiting or diarrhea. The only way to know for sure if a case of the flu is caused by the H1N1 strain is to visit a doctor. If you can’t get in to see your regular physician, you can always visit an urgent care in Federal Way, such as the one run by U.S. HealthWorks Medical Group, and have a sample collected and sent to a laboratory for analysis.
The results of several studies have suggested that swine flu is a bit more potent than the regular flu in that the H1N1 strain can infect lung cells at a higher rate. Leaving swine flu unattended can easily lead to a person contracting dangerous flu complications like pneumonia.
Fortunately, the latest version of the flu vaccine protects people from the H1N1 strain. Seeing that one of the most serious strains of influenza is at large once again, people who have yet to get vaccinated for the flu this year should visit a trusted Federal Way walk-in clinic to get immunized.
(Article Excerpt and Image from H1N1 Virus Making Resurgence This Flu Season, News Channel 5 Tennessee, December 27, 2013)