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How is H1N1 diagnosed? - Page 2

post #21 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beppie View Post
My dd, DH, and I all had suspected H1N1. Our state does not test ANYONE for H1N1 unless that person is hospitalized. But we tested positive for Influenza A, and our doctor said it was H1N1 since "there is no seasonal flu out there yet." or something to that effect.

We also had odd symptoms. DH had bad cough, body aches, and diarrhea. DD had fever, runny nose, lethargy/fatigue, and diarrhea. I had terrible headache, sore throat, runny nose, cough, and fatigue for 4+ days, but never any fever. (Apparently that is more common than I'd known before, see this article: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/13/health/13fever.html)
This and other posts like it has be really confused.

H1N1 is influenza, which is a respiratory infection. My understanding is that if you don't have a BAD COUGH (or at least a decent cough), you don't have influenza. Of any variety. Period.

Now, I read here and there about 'I had a fever and diarrhea" or "I had fever, a runny nose, and diarrhea"... that sounds a lot more like an enterovirus or viral gastroenteritis than influenza I've ever heard of.

So are they saying that people have tested positive for H1N1 who have ONLY had a fever and upset stomach or what have you??

This has my interest peaked because my house is currently dealing with the world's strangest "stomach bug slash cold" we've ever had. Never crossed my mind it could be H1N1.
post #22 of 35
Our area has yet to see a single case of regular influenza, any one with flu like symptoms is presumed to have H1N1. Some docs are testing, some are not.


In our case I knew we had H1N1 after we got fell ill right after DD1's classmate that sits next to her had a confirmed case. DD1 had the high fever, nasty headache, cough, chills, nausea, lethargy, and vertigo. Baby DS just had the cough and he didn't feel well but I couldn't tell exactly what was going on inside, no fever though. DH and I have just had the vertigo, bad headache, fatigue, and nausea.
post #23 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Periwinkle View Post
This and other posts like it has be really confused.

H1N1 is influenza, which is a respiratory infection. My understanding is that if you don't have a BAD COUGH (or at least a decent cough), you don't have influenza. Of any variety. Period.

Now, I read here and there about 'I had a fever and diarrhea" or "I had fever, a runny nose, and diarrhea"... that sounds a lot more like an enterovirus or viral gastroenteritis than influenza I've ever heard of.

So are they saying that people have tested positive for H1N1 who have ONLY had a fever and upset stomach or what have you??

This has my interest peaked because my house is currently dealing with the world's strangest "stomach bug slash cold" we've ever had. Never crossed my mind it could be H1N1.
I've heard its milder in adults than it is in kids. In our house both our kids have fevers, racking cough that is awful to listen to, runny noses, and an overall crappy feeling. Dh has had a fever and a yucky feeling. I've had a sore throat, with no fever and a mild cough. I'm pretty sure we all have the same thing, because dd1 isn't great about averting her head when she coughs. I've been coughed in the face several times. (not fun). It has been much milder on us than it has been on the kids.

Anyway the point of all that is that with the fever and coughing we assume that its H1N1.
post #24 of 35
Australia is not testing routinely anymore either. We do distinguish between Influenza A and H1N1 though - they are different viruses. It just isn't significant anymore to distinguish between them clinically as no-one is tracking the progression of H1N1.

As far as the difference between H1N1 and seasonal flu - similar symptoms but some people are getting a gastro component as well. For awhile here that was the key clinical difference between H1N1 and seasonal. Some people were also describing it as worse than any other flu they'd had before but that is, of course, fairly subjective.

It should be reasonably easy to tell the difference between a cold and a flu (of any type). For a start a true flu will make you much sicker for much longer. It would be rare to recover from a flu in less than a week. Most people are/should be in bed for 5-7 days and may be unable to work for a couple of weeks.

Another sign is fever. You may have a mild, transient fever with a cold but flu will usually give you a fever of more than 38C fairly consistently for several days.

Severe muscle and or joint pain is another symptom of flu which usually doesn't occur with a cold.

Cold symptoms tend to be "above the neck" - woolly head, runny nose, scratchy throat etc. Flu symptoms will be more full body.

You may or may not have a cough with either. With a cold though the cough tends to be a drier, irritated throat kind of cough. With the flu it tends originate from deeper in the lungs and may or may not produce sputum.

It's all made more complicated by the fact that even health care providers refer to every little sniffle or sore throat as "the flu". If you get the real flu you will be left in no doubt about it. General rule - if you just felt a bit lousy and weren't totally flattened, it wasn't the flu.
post #25 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by katelove View Post
General rule - if you just felt a bit lousy and weren't totally flattened, it wasn't the flu.
That's what I've always thought too. I think I had the flu in college like 20 years ago and I felt so horrible! I've never had anything like that since then. Like I was sick on Friday with a fever and felt kind of nauseated and had a headache. I was wondering if it was the flu. But by Sat, fever was gone and I was still tired but basically fine. So I figured it was a cold, not the flu.
post #26 of 35
That's my experience with the flu too... I had it about 10 years ago and was WRECKED - decent fever (101+), full on body aches and chills, in bed for 3-4 days, and of course... a bad cough. Didn't feel right for 2 weeks after that.

And I know every flu strain is different, but again, if you don't have a cough, you don't have the flu -that's my understanding. The flu is not just a bad cold...it's primarily a lung infection with a whole bunch of other unpleasant symptoms that go along with it.

For example, with rotovirus... if you don't have any GI symptoms... it's NOT rotovirus. You can have a fever and runny nose and feel yucky and be in bed, but if you don't have an upset stomach, you just have a cold.
post #27 of 35
can they test after the fact? they didn't even bother testing DD1- who we all suspect had it. Can they run titers or a swab for immunities?
post #28 of 35
We just had h1n1.

It is widespread across most of the country. If you have flu like symptoms right now, your chance of it NOT being h1n1 is less than 1%.

http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/ has all the stats on it.

They are no longer testing much in our area (Colorado) because it's just understood you likely have it.

It does not necessarily have a cough, you could have a sore throat instead. There is a pressure on the chest and it is attaching to the receptors in the lungs (whereas the seasonal tends to attach more to nasal/throat receptors) and it can cause a deeper lung infection.

http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2009/...infection.html

There have been people misdiagnosed because it was not yet understood that the symptoms are a little different than seasonal (or can be). We did not have a fever in our house, just massive chills. That is a component of the avian flu part of the h1n1 - 37% were presenting without fever. This can mean these people spread it more without realizing they have it (we did ).

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/13/he...ever.html?_r=1
http://www.examiner.com/x-8543-SF-He...wine-flu-cases

And having just had it, for 12 days!, it's a strange and not fun bug. I had it for 5 days and then relapsed after a day of almost feeling normal with worsened body aches for another 5 days. The body aches got severe enough that it hurt worse than a kidney infection.

Stay healthy!
post #29 of 35
When my husband tested postive for the flu last year, he never had a cough, just a sore throat.

They are no longer testing in my area in Texas for H1N1. They'll do a routine flu swab, and if it comes back negative, they still assume you have H1N1. By the time the doctors get the result for the H1N1, you're over it.

I'm convinced my daughter had H1N1 over 18 months ago. If they are diagnosing off they symptoms, then she had it. We were told it was a "flu-like" virus and just to let it run its course.
post #30 of 35
Totally agree about it being a strange little bugger of a illness. Poor DD1 is completely flattened by it right now, she has only moved off the couch since Saturday to sleep or pee. And this child is always bouncing everywhere, 3 days and she has not improved at all. We all got hit by influenza A a few years back, that knocked me flat on my butt for a solid week+, it was worse then the pertussis I had just a couple months prior. This reminds me of that except this time we all got different severities.
post #31 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllyRae View Post
Well, that's a great way to pad the CDC's "the swine flu is a huge giant epidemic" thing. You can have multiple symptoms and still not have the flu. Last month, I had the fever, cough, headache, diarrheah, nausea, chills, body aches...tested negative for influenza A and B and it turned out it was just a random virus working it's way through and it was gone in a day. And if you just look at the list of symptoms, you could combine any 2 of them and come up with 20 different illnesses it could be, ranging from mild cold to meningitis to pertussis to flu. Seems like a dangerous assumption for medical providers to make...
That test has a very high false negative rate, so a negative result does not mean you don't have flu.
post #32 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by clewal View Post
When my husband tested postive for the flu last year, he never had a cough, just a sore throat.

They are no longer testing in my area in Texas for H1N1. They'll do a routine flu swab, and if it comes back negative, they still assume you have H1N1. By the time the doctors get the result for the H1N1, you're over it.

I'm convinced my daughter had H1N1 over 18 months ago. If they are diagnosing off they symptoms, then she had it. We were told it was a "flu-like" virus and just to let it run its course.
As far as I know, they don't think H1N1 was around in people 18 months ago. But she could easily have had a different flu. Right now they diagnose based on the symptoms because sampling tests with the test that can distinguish H1N1 from other influenza A viruses find that there is very little (1 or 2% or less usually) other flu around. But once other flu starts circulating, they won't be able to diagnose H1N1 versus another based on symptoms.
post #33 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by hrtoe View Post
It is widespread across most of the country. If you have flu like symptoms right now, your chance of it NOT being h1n1 is less than 1%.

This is inaccurate. I think I know where you're getting the 1% from (i.e., that 99% of influenza cases now are H1N1). But a lot of things cause flu-like symptoms, many of which are also EVERYWHERE right now. Rhinoviruses and enteroviruses to name a few (hundred).
post #34 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Periwinkle View Post
This is inaccurate. I think I know where you're getting the 1% from (i.e., that 99% of influenza cases now are H1N1). But a lot of things cause flu-like symptoms, many of which are also EVERYWHERE right now. Rhinoviruses and enteroviruses to name a few (hundred).
Sorry , you are absolutely right. I was talking about actual flu cases.

But they are saying here if you have flu symptoms, not just one or two, to call and talk with your doctor. There are a few bugs around here - tummy bugs, strep, and who knows what else, but flu bugs it's h1n1 right now (or as of two weeks ago). Sorry I wasn't clear at all and thank you so much for clarifying for me!
post #35 of 35
So, I am wondering about the cough thing. We were all sick last week, and I am certain we all had the same bug (cold/flu/whatever) but only 3 of the kids had a decent cough for several days - DH, myself, and our oldest did not (besides the occasional mucus-y hacking). No fevers that I am aware of, but DH and I definitely had body chills/aches and can't recall having these with any colds we've had in the past. It's hard to say how the kids felt, since they are little, but they appeared less sick than DH and I, as they were almost as wild as they always are.

I've heard people say if you get the flu you will know you have it because of how awful you feel - but yet there have been confirmed cases of H1N1 where they didn't have the typical flu-like symptoms. It's all very confusing to me.

They should have a home testing kit sold at the drug store so we can swab our families w/o a trip to the doc. no, but seriously, can titers be checked for H1N1? I assume so
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