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The original item was published from 11/19/2009 3:29:59 PM to 1/16/2010 12:00:05 AM.

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Health Services

Posted on: November 19, 2009

[ARCHIVED] What if YOU get H1N1?

Adults need to put themselves first in order to help others. Since September, nearly 500 Iowans have been hospitalized with the virus. Initially, children were especially hard-hit. A growing number of adults are now becoming ill with H1N1.

Adults are often more likely to make sacrifices to take care of others than they are to take care of themselves. For instance, parents may be more willing to stay home from work with an ill child than they are to stay home themselves while ill. “This year, it’s more important than ever for adults to take care of themselves when they are sick,” said Dr. John Viner, MD. “By doing so, they not only speed along their own recovery, but also help stop the spread of illness to others.”

The symptoms of H1N1 include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headaches, chills, and fatigue. Diarrhea and vomiting have also been reported with H1N1. The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and Dubuque County Public Health recommend you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine. You should stay home from work, school, travel, shopping, social events, and public gatherings. When at home, stay in your room and consider wearing a facemask to help prevent spreading the virus if you need to go into other parts of the home.

With Thanksgiving around the corner, it’s especially important to consider the health of others when socializing or shopping. “Family gatherings are important and shopping is fun,” said Mary Rose Corrigan, Public Health Specialist for the City of Dubuque. “But it’s much more important to keep your friends and loved ones well by staying away from others when you are ill. If you are ill, stay home from the mall, and if family is coming for Thanksgiving, try to stay in a room away from visitors.”

While most adults will recover from the H1N1 virus without complications, there are signs that indicate you should seek medical attention right away. These include difficulty breathing; having purple or blue discoloration of the lips; vomiting and being unable to keep any liquids down; feeling dizzy when standing; or being unable to urinate.

A statewide toll-free hotline has been established for public questions about seasonal and H1N1 influenza at 1-800-447-1985. More information can also be found at


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