Swine Flu: What You Need to Know

Doctors recommend getting rest and drinking plenty of fluids, and using Tylenol and Advil, which have proven effective for flu symptoms.

Doctors recommend "self-quarantine" for those inflicted with the influenza, so that it does not spread to others. If children are sick, they should not be sent to school. For adults, they should stay away from their workplaces and maintain as much distance as possible from others. Travel on buses or airplanes is not recommended.

Doctors say it is only natural for flus to spread in places like schools, where there is a lot of interaction.

It is hard to distinguish the symptoms of a swine flu from any other flu.

Schaffner said the one distinction is that the swine flu is not a common cold.

"Common cold has its symtoms from the neck up -- sore throat, stuffy nose and feeling crummy. However influenza tends to make you feel much more ill. You can have a sore throat but then you also get cough and muscle aches and pains," he said.

The Swine Flu Symptoms

Hayden Henshaw, an 18year-old from Cibolo, Texas, who was diagnosed with the swine flu last week, said he felt regular flu symptoms.

"You just get really run down, my skin and my muscles were achy. I had a cough and slightly feverish." he told ABC News.

His father, Patrick and 11-year-old sister, Hannah, also got the flu from him.

"It's just like any other flu but the vaccine doesn't help with this strain," his mother, Robin, told ABC News.

Doctors recommend looking out for symptoms such as a fever of more than 100 degrees, body aches, coughing, a sore throat, respiratory congestion and, in some cases, vomiting and diarrhea.

In the absence of symptoms, officials say people don't have to get tested. If they are experiecing the symptoms, they you should take precaution and stay away from others.

The WHO is developing a profile of the "typical case" of swine flu, but thus far, the symptoms appear to be essentially the same as those for the usual winter flu. The only way to definitively diagnose swine flu is to have laboratory testing done to determine the exact subtype of the virus.

Swine Flu Is Called a Global Threat

The WHO has a six-phase approach for dealing with large outbreaks of viruses. The six threat levels help the organization determine the course of action it needs to take and the kind of guidelines and recommendations it needs to provide to countries.

Phase 1 means no viruses circulating among animals are reported to have caused infections in humans. The Phase 2 threat is activated when the virus has spread from animals to humans and has "potential pandemic threat."

The threat level is escalated to Phase 3 -- such as after the swine flu spread -- when the virus is reported in clusters, but has not resulted in enough human-to-human transmission to have caused a large outbreak at the community level.

Phase 4 means the virus has resulted in "community-level" outbreaks, and is at a strong risk of becoming a pandemic.

Phases 5 and 6 mean there is widespread human infection, and the uptick to Phase 5 means that a global pandemic is on its way. Phase 6 is post-peak, meaning the virus has dropped from its most sever but hasn't completely disappeared.

In the post-pandemic period, influenza disease activity will have returned to levels normally seen for seasonal influenza.

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