Swine Flu Testing Changes

POSTED: Wednesday, September 30, 2009 - 6:09am

UPDATED: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 2:24pm

Until a few months ago, most people had never heard of the H1N1 virus, so when news of a swine flu pandemic broke, it created panic. But now that the shock has worn off, people are just learning to deal with it.

El Pasoan Diego Kerstiens tells us, "I actually had a friend that had it and she didn't even know and she didn't find out until later. That doesn't really worry me because I'm sure I'll be able to handle it, if I do come down with it."

And how public health workers are handling it is also changing. Earlier this year, when cases first started popping up, the Centers for Disease Control was requiring all positive flu tests to be taken one step further and tested for H1N1, but not anymore.

Here's what the CDC now recommends.
If you test positive for the flu, you will get whatever treatment the doctor recommends, but your test will likely not be sent out for swine flu confirmation.
Some exceptions are people who are hospitalized and pregnant women.
That means, you could very well have swine flu, but never know for sure. That is what Dennis Langevin thinks happened to him.

"I started off with a sore throat and all the bones hurting, then the temperature got pretty high and I had a terrible cough," he says.

When the symptoms came on, he called his brother who is a doctor.

Dennis says,"I told him I felt as sick as a dog, gave him the symptoms and he said yeah, you've definitely got the flu and in all likelihood you've got the swine flu."

After a few days of rest, Dennis was back to normal. He says there really wasn't any point in getting tested.

"By that time, it's like closing the barn door after the horses are out," he tells us.;

It seems like there is some truth to that. Whether you come down with the regular flu or the swine flu, the course of treatment is usually the same, get plenty of rest and wait for the virus to take its course. With that in mind, the goal now for many is not so much knowing if they have swine flu, but rather, preventing it.

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