Feature Archive

Swine Flu and the Elderly

Experts share insights on ways seniors can protect themselves against swine flu.

By Wendy C. Fries
WebMD Feature

Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Pandemic. If the word has you a little nervous, you're not alone. Though a pandemic simply refers to an epidemic that's widespread, when applied to terms like novel influenza A (H1N1), H1N1 flu, or swine flu, it can sound confusing and a little scary.

Some perspective can help. Certainly the spread of H1N1 swine flu is serious. Yet so is seasonal flu, which hospitalizes more than 200,000 people a year in the U.S. Both types of flu have similar symptoms, including fatigue, chills, headache, body aches, stuffy nose, sore throat, cough, and fever. And if you get sick, the only way to tell which flu you have is to be tested by your doctor.