Is swine flu life-threatening?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

For healthy adults, influenza, including swine flu (H1N1), is usually not life-threatening. But for those who are at risk for complications of swine flu, such as young children, pregnant women, those with chronic diseases such as diabetes, or those with suppressed immune systems, swine flu can lead to life-threatening complications such as pneumonia and respiratory failure. Compared to seasonal flu, swine flu seems to affect young people more than is usual for influenza.

Swine flu (also called H1N1 flu), like any flu infection, can be life-threatening for people who are in certain high-risk categories. People at high risk for developing complications from the flu include pregnant women, and people who have asthma, COPD, heart disease, kidney disease, or weakened immune systems.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.