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Warning Signs of Swine Flu

Centegra Health System is working closely with the Illinois Department of Public Health, the McHenry County Department of Health and other healthcare agencies while monitoring reported human cases of the swine flu internationally, although no cases have been reported in Illinois.Ted Lorenc, MD, Vice President of Medical Affairs, Centegra Health System, said that while the flu is something that is handled on a regular basis at Centegra Health System, key Associates have met and plans are in place to address the swine flu if necessary. He said that some area residents have called Centegra professionals to ask if a test can be performed to detect the virus infection.”If a patient meets all the criteria set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the patient has been exposed within the past 48 hours, testing will be completed,”  he said.According to the CDC, swine flu can cause a wide range of symptoms, including fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. People with swine flu also can have vomiting and diarrhea. Like seasonal flu, swine flu in humans can vary in severity from mild to severe.Severe disease with pneumonia, respiratory failure and even death is possible with swine flu infection. Certain groups might be more likely to develop a severe illness from swine flu infection, such as persons with chronic medical conditions. Sometimes bacterial infections may occur at the same time as or after infection with influenza viruses and lead to pneumonias, ear infections or sinus infections.In children, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Fever with a rash

In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting

Lorenc said, “Try to avoid close contact with sick people. Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people. If you get sick, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.” Lorenc recommends a few everyday actions people can take to stay healthy. They are:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.

If symptoms persist, see your doctor.   If you need immediate attention, visit one of Centegra Health System’s two immediate care centers. One is located in the Crystal Lake Medical Arts Building and one is located on the Centegra Health Campus in Huntley.—-Related linksIHA has posted on its  web site links to the latest state and federal information and guidance on the swine flu outbreak, as well as information on pandemic flu planning.Infection Prevention

Pandemic Flu Planning

Other Resources

Centegra Health System is committed to meeting the healthcare needs of the residents of greater McHenry County and to making services available in multiple and convenient locations, including hospitals in McHenry and Woodstock, Immediate and Primary Care centers, Centegra Sage Cancer Center, Health Bridge Fitness Centers and more. As the region’s leading healthcare provider, Centegra Health System continues to bring the latest treatments and technology, along with the skills of nearly 4,000 medical professionals, to meet the needs of the growing McHenry County community.