Swine Flu: This Century's Scarlet Letter?

"You have H1N1," the doctor calmly told me last week.

"But I can't," I replied. "I don't feel that sick." Granted, I had just spent two days doing little more than lying on the sofa with my sore throat, cough and occasional low fever...but swine flu?

This couldn't be that. Plus, yuck. I didn't want to tell anyone I had swine flu. It would sound like I haven't been washing my hands or I've been allowing sick people to cough and sneeze in my face. I've been following every precaution. How could this happen to me?

But the doctor told me this is typical of what they are seeing. People are reporting cold symptoms of sore throat, congestion and cough. Then add low grade fevers between 100-101.5 degrees with fatigue and sometimes body aches. That's what I had.

She prescribed Tamiflu®. I rested, took my medicine and got better.

The rest of the family used Clorox Wipes® to wipe down surfaces, avoided sharing hand towels and stayed away from one another. Two of the four of us got the flu, the other two..not...or not yet.

So, it seems like this is what swine flu will look like for most of us. Common sense dictates that we need to listen to our bodies, take care of ourselves if we get sick and get appropriate medical care if symptoms get worse or can't be managed at home.

Yes, we need to take H1N1 seriously. Just like you I've heard about the deaths from this flu, particularly in children. It's scary, but for most families it's manageable. For those of us with kids with asthma or other health issues, we need to take special precautions if our kids get sick. Tamiflu® can be taken prophylactically for a period of time in the event of possible exposure to the flu. Plan ahead and talk to your doctor now about your concerns.
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