What the Swine Flu Feels Like

Kaitlan Ware discusses how it felt to have the Swine flu

Kaitlan Ware, a health information management/pre-nuclear medicine major, is still battling some symptoms resulting from the H1N1, or swine flu virus.

“I have been without a fever for over two weeks, I just can’t kick the cough,” said Ware of one of the lingering symptoms.

In order for students to get an idea of what it’s like to have H1N1, Ware shared some information on how it feels to be ill with the virus, and what other students can do if they become ill.

When did you find out you had H1N1/swine flu?

Ware: I found out four days after I got my initial symptoms.

When you were ill, how long were you quarantined for?

Ware: I wasn’t strictly quarantined. I live off campus, so the doctors told me to wear a facemask if I was within six feet of a person. I was also told to stay home from school until I felt better.

How long did the virus last for?

Ware: About one full week. However, I still have a cough and have been struggling with fatigue.

What were your main symptoms?

Ware: High fever (102-103 degrees F) for hours at a time, chills, severe pain in my lower back, coughing, sneezing and light nausea.

Where were you diagnosed?

Ware: Birkam Health Center.

How did the university handle the situation?

Ware: They gave me a “flu kit” and advised me what to do, how long I should be sick, what to do if I get worse, what to eat, what medications to take, etc.

Is H1N1 similar to the regular seasonal flu?

Ware: I thought it was worse than any flu I have ever had before. It lasted longer and the symptoms were far more inoculating than what I had been used to.

If anything, was there any particular medication that aided you in a quicker recovery?

Ware: I didn’t take any medications other than prescription cough syrup and Motrin to combat the back pain. This was because I wasn’t diagnosed until four days into the symptoms, so the antibiotics would have been rather ineffective.

In regards to advice for other students who are feeling ill, Ware said,” Students need to realize that if they get sick, they need to stay home from school and teachers need to realize the same thing and be sympathetic to the situation.” She added, “So far all of my teachers have been extremely understanding!”

Any students who are feeling ill with similar symptoms should contact the Birkam Health Center at x2614 to speak with a nurse for additional instructions or come to the physician’s office if symptoms are severe.