Although it has been called the “swine flu” and the “Mexican flu,” it is now just as easy to call the flu virus that is making its way across the globe the American flu. The reason that this name is just as appropriate as the first two (if not more) is because the flu virus has spread to America, and in a very short period of time, it has been confirmed in one state after another. To help you protect yourself and your family from becoming infected by the American flu virus, our team has collected the information that is most relevant to this issue (so that you can find out what you need to know without having to sort through a lot of irrelevant “noise”).
The American flu virus is a type A influenza virus. The scientific name for this specific strain of the influenza virus is H1N1. One reason that the term “swine flu” is not necessarily the most appropriate for this strain of the influenza virus is because there is a type of flu virus that is strictly called swine flu, the strain that is currently spreading across American and the rest of the world is a mixture of the North American swine influenza, North American avian influenza, human influenza, and swine influenza virus. Because this mixture is a strain that has not been seen before, it is causing a lot of concern among everyone from regular people to government officials (since there is not currently a vaccine capable of handling this specific influenza strain).
Like the standard human flu, symptoms of the American flu that is currently spreading include body aches, chills, cough, fatigue, fever, headache and sore throat. Although anyone who has one or more of these symptoms should visit their doctor as soon as possible, the following symptoms are more severe and warrant immediate medical attention:
In adults: confusion, a sudden onset of dizziness, trouble breathing (or a shortness of breath), severe vomiting that persists or pressure and/or pain in the abdomen or chest.
In children: bluish skin color, irritability to the point of a child refusing to be held, fever combined with a rash, difficulty breathing (or faster than normal breathing), failure to drink enough fluids, an improvement in the primary flu symptoms listed above (only to have the symptoms return with a worsened cough and fever) or a failure to interact and/or wake up.
Because the primary way that the American flu spreads from one person to another is when one person sneezes or coughs near another, it is important to keep your distance from anyone who is sick (for anyone who becomes sick, it is recommended to isolate yourself from others). Additionally, because the virus can live on surfaces such as doorknobs or tabletops, you should wash your hands with warm water and soap on a regular basis. Additionally, you can help keep yourself and your family safe from the American flu by taking the time to sanitize surfaces such as doorknobs and tabletops in your home on a regular basis.