Over-the-counter medication, careful vigilance of symptoms, and various home remedies are appropriate for a mild case of the H1N1 influenza virus in individuals who are not at risk for complications. Anyone who is at risk for complications, including pregnant women, children under the age of five years, and anyone with a chronic health condition, should consult a physician if there is a suspicion of an influenza infection.
Mild Flu Symptoms
Mild H1N1 symptoms are the same as any other strain of the flu or a bad cold. These symptoms commonly include fever, body aches, headache, sinus congestion or runny nose, fatigue, chills, and stomach upset. In order to prevent the further spread of the swine flu, anyone who has flu symptoms should not go to work, school, or anywhere that is not essential, until the fever has been gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reduction medicine.
Severe Flu Symptoms
Adults whose influenza has become complicated will experience more severe symptoms and need to be evaluated and treated by a medical professional. Severe symptoms in adults include chest pain and pressure, trouble breathing, excessive vomiting, blue lips, seizures, dizziness, confusion, unresponsiveness, and signs of dehydration. Indications that dehydration has occurred include:
- lack of urination
- lack of tears
- extremely dry mouth
- dry skin
Appropriate Medications for Uncomplicated Swine Flu Symptoms
A mild case of the swine flu can be treated with various over-the-counter medications. Cold and flu medications to treat sinus symptoms can be effective to treat a mild case of the flu. For fever, headaches, and body aches, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend acetaminophen, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen or naproxen. Brand names for these medications include:
- acetaminophen: Tylenol
- ibuprofen: Motrin, Advil, Nuprin
- naproxen: Aleve
Children and teens should avoid any medications containing aspirin during bouts with the cold or flu in order to avoid Reyes Syndrome.
Remain Hydrated While Recovering
One of the severe complications that results from the flu is dehydration. Drinking plenty of fluids is an important aspect of the healing and recovery process. If a sore throat makes swallowing difficult, popsicles and ice chips can improve hydration without causing as much pain.
Sinus Congestion Remedies
Cold and flu medicine is not recommended for very young children, according to the CDC. Steam and cool-mist humidifiers are effective means of loosening congestion during an attack of the flu for all ages. For a baby too young to blow his nose, a bulb-syringe for suction can remove mucus to make breathing easier.