How is H1N1 diagnosed? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 35 Old 09-30-2009, 12:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't have the flu...I'm just curious as to how this flu is being diagnosed. Lots of people in these forums have said they have/had it. The CDC lists the systems and they are the same as seasonal flu so how would anyone know if they actually had H1N1? I'd guess the numbers are screwed up...One person told me that H1N1 lasts longer but last Christmas I had the flu for two to three weeks so I don't buy that either. I just don't get it! Am I missing something? Is there a symptom that singles it out as H1N1 or what?

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#2 of 35 Old 09-30-2009, 03:54 AM
 
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From what I understand there is a test they can do to determine if it is in fact swine flu. I've been seeing advertisements for a clinic in my area that does "rapid H1N1 flu test." I'm assuming it's similar to the rapid strep test they use to distinguish strep throat, but I could be mistaken.

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#3 of 35 Old 09-30-2009, 06:19 AM
 
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In Australia it's a throat swab.

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#4 of 35 Old 09-30-2009, 07:16 AM
 
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Right now, based on their testing, CDC says the majority of the flu circulating in the US is H1N1. So most people who get influenza right now are getting H1N1, and CDC says that it's basically the same intensity as typical seasonal flu. Mostly it's not being verified with a test because a) that doesn't affect the course of treatment, and b) it's somewhat costly, and c) previous testing has already shown that most flu around now is H1N1.

Cool page on CDC about flu stuff....
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/
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#5 of 35 Old 09-30-2009, 02:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by TanyaLopez View Post
Right now, based on their testing, CDC says the majority of the flu circulating in the US is H1N1. So most people who get influenza right now are getting H1N1, and CDC says that it's basically the same intensity as typical seasonal flu. Mostly it's not being verified with a test because a) that doesn't affect the course of treatment, and b) it's somewhat costly, and c) previous testing has already shown that most flu around now is H1N1.

Cool page on CDC about flu stuff....
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/
Then according to this my family already had it but fought it off. My DD had a fever all night the night of Sept. 18 and was fine by morning. The next day I was fighting off whatever it was she had but it felt flu like.

Thanks for the responses!

Veda 9/06
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#6 of 35 Old 09-30-2009, 02:44 PM
 
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#7 of 35 Old 09-30-2009, 03:00 PM
 
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Our health dept says 98% of the flu circulating right now in our county is H1N1, so if you have flu symptoms, they are assuming its H1N1. No one here is testing.
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#8 of 35 Old 09-30-2009, 03:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BellinghamCrunchie View Post
Our health dept says 98% of the flu circulating right now in our county is H1N1, so if you have flu symptoms, they are assuming its H1N1. No one here is testing.
WOW!! I had no idea...
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#9 of 35 Old 09-30-2009, 05:57 PM
 
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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)

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#10 of 35 Old 09-30-2009, 06:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jennlyn View Post
I believe the distinguishing hallmark between a cold and the flu is the fever.
see this article, too:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-..._b_304950.html

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#11 of 35 Old 09-30-2009, 08:26 PM
 
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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)
Wow, that is interesting. I've been telling staff at work that if there's no fever, its not flu. Thanks for the link.
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#12 of 35 Old 09-30-2009, 10:03 PM
 
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My Ds came down w a fever on Sat night and now has a cough. So after reading this I am now wondering if it could be the swine flu. I'm pretty sure last time he had a cough he had a fever too though.
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#13 of 35 Old 09-30-2009, 11:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by es1967 View Post
My Ds came down w a fever on Sat night and now has a cough. So after reading this I am now wondering if it could be the swine flu. I'm pretty sure last time he had a cough he had a fever too though.
Its hard to tell with kids, because they often have fevers with regular colds or whatever, especially the younger ones (under 2).
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#14 of 35 Old 09-30-2009, 11:54 PM
 
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DS is sick right now and I have been wondering if it is 'the Swine'. He has had no fever but has a nasty cough. Of course he shared it with 4 month old DD. I have been fighting something off for a couple of days. I went out and got a bunch of papayas (whole food Vit C is best)

It would be nice if we could actually get the straight story about the symptoms. Anecdotal evidence is not enough. wouldn't it be better to find out if someone already has antibodies to H1N1 rather than have them get a vaccine?

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#15 of 35 Old 10-11-2009, 10:58 AM
 
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it all leaves me confused. DD 2 started with a cough and runny nose at the beginning of the week, low grade fever under 100 at most times. DD 1 has a cough and very little else I checked her temperature at the same time as dd2 and it was 99.5 my girls tend to run in the very low 98's as a norm. I had similar symptoms. I thought it was the first cold of the season as it was just mildly annoying.

I would never suspect swine flu except that dh came down with the sore throat cough Friday then was in bed all day yesterday with body aches fatigue diarrhea and a temp around 101 really the whole nine yards. Now I am unsure whether he has swine flu whether we all had a mild case or what. I would like to think we were in the clear since I want to get pregnant and it would be nice to not worry so much about the flu. I just wish there was a little more guidance.

The girls and I supplement with d3 and vit c so I am wondering if this took the edge off a little. It is confusing.

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#16 of 35 Old 10-11-2009, 11:01 AM
 
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they did a nasal swab on DS and it came back as influenza A. 99% of influenza A right now is H1N1 or so they told us.

DS (6.06), DD (10.08), DD (05.11).

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#17 of 35 Old 10-11-2009, 02:29 PM
 
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What I have heard is there are testing for flu and if it comes back + then they assume it is H1N1.

I am not sure the symptoms are all that different between H1N1 and seasonal flu.
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#18 of 35 Old 10-11-2009, 05:39 PM
 
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here they are not testing either - anyone with 2 or more symptoms is presumed to have H1N1

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#19 of 35 Old 10-11-2009, 06:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by frugalmama View Post
here they are not testing either - anyone with 2 or more symptoms is presumed to have H1N1
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...

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#20 of 35 Old 10-11-2009, 06:47 PM
 
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They do nose swabs here to test for it. Or in ds's case his nose was running so the nurses sucked it up in a syringe to avoid having to do the swab and had dd spit in a cup. Dh nose swab.

An interesting fact is that with this flu the kids ped told me it wasnt showing up easy on the flu tests. One day they will test for it and it is neg. the next day it comes back pos. so just because you get a neg test does not mean you dont have the flu. I believe this is why so many places have stopped testing because it isnt reliable.

 
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#21 of 35 Old 10-11-2009, 09:40 PM
 
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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.
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#22 of 35 Old 10-11-2009, 10:50 PM
 
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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.

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#23 of 35 Old 10-12-2009, 02:39 AM
 
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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.

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#24 of 35 Old 10-12-2009, 10:00 AM
 
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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.

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#25 of 35 Old 10-12-2009, 12:15 PM
 
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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.
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#26 of 35 Old 10-12-2009, 12:40 PM
 
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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.
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#27 of 35 Old 10-12-2009, 12:52 PM
 
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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?

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#28 of 35 Old 10-12-2009, 02:15 PM
 
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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!
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#29 of 35 Old 10-12-2009, 09:28 PM
 
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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.
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#30 of 35 Old 10-12-2009, 11:50 PM
 
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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.

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