What are the Common Signs of Swine Flu in Babies?

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  • Written By: Jami Yontz
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 31 August 2019
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Infants, the elderly, pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems are more susceptible to contracting swine flu. As the virus can be especially dangerous to children, it's important for parents to know the symptoms and when to call a physician. The common signs of swine flu in babies mimic many of the symptoms of seasonal influenza viruses, including having a fever and cough. An infant who has contracted the virus may have respiratory issues or be dehydrated; his facial expressions also might appear flat, or he may be difficult to wake up. Vomiting and diarrhea are also symptoms of swine flu.

The symptoms of swine flu in babies include a fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat, chills and sometimes diarrhea and vomiting can occur. If the child is having shortness of breath and respiratory problems and their skin is a bluish or gray color, they could have the swine flu. Body aches and pain and irritability is another symptom of the virus, and many infants showcase this pain by not wanting to be held or squirming when held.

Some infants with the flu display a lack of facial expressions, the inability to maintain eye contact or the inability to follow something with their eyes. Many infants also begin to refuse liquids or cannot keep them down if they have the flu. If the child is difficult to wake up or interact with, parents should immediately seek medical help or contact a pediatrician.


Swine flu in babies is especially serious because infants have not been exposed to many types of bacteria and germs, and they cannot receive flu vaccinations. Infants are also more at risk of developing complications from the flu, including pneumonia. To prevent the virus from developing into something more severe, parents should seek medical attention if their child presents any symptoms of influenza. Most physicians will recommend an antiviral medication, rest, fluids and a fever reducer for treatment of the swine flu in babies.

Swine flu, also known as the H1N1 virus, is a strain of influenza that was first documented in the spring of 2009. This strain is easily spread between people and can be fatal if not treated. It is spread through contact with someone who is infected, as it is an airborne illness, or by touching objects that have been touched by someone with the H1N1 virus. Swine flu is contagious for more than seven days in adults, and can be contagious for up to 10 days in children.

Guarding against the flu is essential for families with infants. Parents should wash their hands before touching an infant and should maintain a clean home and nursery. Family members should also learn to cover their faces and mouths when coughing and sneezing. Infants should not be exposed to people who have symptoms of the flu or to objects that have been around sick children and adults.



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