What Are The Symptoms Of Swine Flu, And When Do I Need To See A Doctor?

Dr. Schaffner answers the question: 'What Are The Symptoms Of Swine Flu?'

ByABC News
September 25, 2008, 9:56 AM

May 27, 2009 -- Question: What are the symptoms of swine flu, and when do I need to see a doctor?

Answer: The symptoms of swine influenza actually resemble, reasonably closely those of annual influenza – and we all know about fever, feeling badly, muscle aches and pains, sore throat, particularly older children and young adults can get a cough, a dry cough. And so, those are really rather typical. You don't have to have them all to have swine influenza.

Now in addition, swine influenza does differ from regular influenza in one respect. It involves the intestinal tract, and so about a third of people have a combination of nausea, maybe a little bit of abdominal pain and diarrhea. Isn't that unusual? Shows you that this is a different virus.

When should you call your doctor? When you're ill of course. That's the time to call your healthcare provider particularly so if you have an underlying immune compromising illness, or heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, if your child has asthma. Those are things that may prompt you to call your doctor right away.