Swine Flu: U.S. Declares Public Health Emergency
CDC Has Reports of at Least 20 People in the U.S. Sickened by Swine Flu
Swine Flu Symptoms
Symptoms of swine flu seen in U.S. patients so far have been "relatively nonspecific -- high fever, cough, sore throat, muscle aches, possibly vomiting and diarrhea in some numbers," says Schuchat.
The problem is, those symptoms aren't unique to swine flu.
They "can be caused by so many different things," Schuchat says, which makes it "impossible" for a patient to tell if they have swine flu, as opposed to another flu virus or a different illness.
"This is a dilemma, a challenge, we're wrestling with," says Schuchat. She encourages patients to use their judgment about whether they're sick enough to see a doctor, and to definitely do so if they've recently been to a high-risk area, such as Mexico.
Schuchat also notes that there have been cases of the virus spreading from person to person in the U.S. The two confirmed cases in Kansas are a husband and wife, one of whom traveled to Mexico. Two days after returning home, the spouse became ill, says Schuchat.
WebMD Senior Writer Daniel J. DeNoon contributed to this report.