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What should I do if I get sick?

If you get sick with flu-like symptoms this flu season, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care.  Most people with 2009 H1N1 have had mild illness and have not needed medical care or antiviral drugs and the same is true of seasonal flu.

However, some people are more likely to get flu complications and they should talk to a health care provider about whether they need to be examined if they get flu symptoms this season.  They are:

  • Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
  • People 65 and older
  • Pregnant women
  • People who have:
    • cancer
    • blood disorders (including sickle cell disease)
    • chronic lung disease (including asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD))
    • diabetes
    • heart disease
    • kidney disorders
    • liver disorders
    • neurological disorders (including nervous system, brain or spinal cord)
    • neuromuscular disorders (including muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis)
    • weakened immune systems (including people with AIDS)

Also, it's possible for healthy people to develop severe illness from the flu so anyone concerned about their illness should consult a health care provider.