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When to Seek Immediate Medical Attention

(Last updated September 18, 2009)

While most people who become infected with H1N1 influenza (or who have flu-like symptoms) usually recover at home with rest and treatment of symptoms, a few individuals may develop more serious illness and require immediate medical attention.

Call your health care provider or 911 immediately if you are ill with the flu and develop any of the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion or change in level of consciousness
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Severe sore throat, accompanied by swollen glands in your neck
  • Flu-like symptoms that improve but then reoccur with fever and worse cough
  • Fever over 104 degrees that cannot be brought down
  • Fever of 101 degrees lasting for more than three days

People at Greater Risk for Complications

Certain people have greater risk of serious flu-related complications. They should consult their health care providers now to develop a plan for prevention and treatment should they develop symptoms. In lieu of such a plan, they should consult their health care providers immediately with the onset of flu-like symptoms. Those at greater risk include the following:

  • Pregnant women
  • People of any age with chronic medical conditions, including:
    • asthma
    • diabetes
    • blood disorders
    • weakened immune system
    • heart, lung, liver, or kidney disease
    • cancer
    • neurological disorders
    • neuromuscular disorders
    • adults 65 years and older
    • children younger than five years of age

General information about H1N1 symptoms, prevention, and treatment can be found here.

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University of Minnesota Pandemic Influenza Response Plan (332 K pdf)