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Sorry to start this discussion but I'm very worried about the effect swine flu would have on me. I have had mild symptoms for a few days now, not a sore throat but everything else. I'm getting pains in my chest more than normally. I know people will say go to the doctors but I have no faith in them, and I'm always scared in case they don't take me seriously.


I'm sorry to have to bring this subject up but it is very real and happening. I live in the U.K. Thanks for taking the time to read.





live life for today and not for tomorrow


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Hi Jaxs,

I'm sorry you (might) have the swine flu (now called H1N1). Most people seem to have it very mildly and many don't go to the doctor for it.

You want to watch out for basic things though, like a fever that is really spiking or dehydration, and of course, not spreading the germs to others. Nearly everyone around here seems to have had some sort of flu in the past few months. This version is much milder than the normal flu; they are primarily worried that it will mutate and become a stronger virus next season. Some people think that it is preferable to get it now and perhaps build up some immunity for if/when a worse version hits.

Please rest up, drink plenty of fluids, and do promise us you'll go to the doctor if your symptoms become severe. Pretty please? Remember it is better to feel humiliated by a non-diagnosis than to be dead from not going to the doctor! Besides, doctors fail to make a diagnosis for symptoms on what, over 40% of doctor visits? Look at it this way: they have a poor batting average, which has little or nothing to do with you, personally.

So, chin up. Drink fluids. We're here for you but of course we're not doctors, and you do need a real doctor if things worsen for you. Keep us posted on your progress okay?

Warm Hugs,


Shelley Ensz

Founder and President

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099


The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

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Hi Jaks


Yes, Swine Flu is a worry as most deaths in the U.K. have involved people with underlying health problems. Clearly any autoimmune disease would fit this category.


Do remember we have a population of approx. 65 million so the stats are in your favour.


I suggest you telephone the advertised Swine Flu helpline for advice and speak with your Scleroderma Specialist about your symptoms/concerns. I am certain provision will soon be made for high risk groups to be vaccinated/treated.

Fingers crossed for you!



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We have a lot of swine flu here in the southern hemisphere cos it is our winter. A key symptom seems to be fever - if you don't have a high temperature you may not have swine flu. This can last for days. Some people also have the runs with it and a few nausea. Another characteristic is that it goes deeper into the respiratory system than usual seasonal flu and has the potential to do more lung damage. If you have sclero and you think you have swine flu you should therefore see your doctor - you may need tamiflu.


Take care.

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I can understand your fear of the swine flu! My rheumatologist has prescribed immunosuppressants to me for my limited scleroderma with crest and Sjogren's. I am very much afraid to take them because of the Swine Flu so don't feel alone. So far, I haven't taken them--I need reassurance!


I live in Illinois, USA and so far no one in my community has been diagnosed with the Swine flu but have been hearing how it will be a pandemic form in winter. I recently had a sore throat and congestion and I called my rheumatologis and he gave me a strong antibiotic and I am feeling better. So, that might be a good idea. I know how you feel about doctors too! I have had about 5 doctors of various kinds and many don't understand scleroderma and so it can be very frustrating. But with your symptoms it probably would be good to call and see your doctor.


Hope things go well --- Patsy

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I live in the UK also and Swine flu is uppermost in everyone's mind at the moment. There is very good information on swine flu by The National Pandemic Hepline, but if you think you are presenting with symptoms it's probably wise to have a chat with them. You can find their number on the web or in newspapers.


I have a very poor relationship with my general practitioner and therefore dread the possibility of contracting the epidemic. However I do know of people close by who have had the virus and are perfectly okay! I know we are slightly different because we have an underlying illness so with that in mind I think you'd be wise to contact your general practitioner no matter what the relationship! They are responsible for your well being whether they take you seriously or not! -- Duty of care springs to mind!


Try not to worry too much but get help if you need it!


Best wishes

Barbara xxx

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