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Warning signs of H1N1 flu identified by WHO

H1N1 influenza is causing mild symptoms that go away without medication in most patients, but health care practitioners and doctors should be alert for warning signs of severe cases, says WHO.

Warning signs of H1N1 flu identified by WHO

H1N1 influenza is causing mild symptoms that settle down without medication in most patients, but health care practitioners and doctors should be alert for warning signs of severe cases, the Director-General Margaret Chan of World Health Organisation (WHO) said in a conference in Cancun, Mexico on Thursday.

Pregnant women and people with underlying health problems are at higher risk from complications from the virus and need to be monitored if they fall ill. Those with normal flu-like symptoms should not seek care in hospitals unless they have certain warning signs of severe infection. Adults with a high fever that lasts for more than three days should seek help, and children who have difficulty waking up, are lethargic or are no longer alert may also need extra care.

Last month WHO raised its pandemic flu alert to phase 6 on a six-point scale, declaring that the H1N1 virus, commonly known as swine flu, was causing the first influenza pandemic since 1968.

Worldwide, nearly 90,000 cases of H1N1 flu have been confirmed, and 382 people have died, most of them with other underlying health problems since the disease was first detected in April.

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