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Study involving 21 Spanish hospitals states 50% of swine flu, ICU patients had no previous health problems

A Spanish study of ICU patients with H1N1, the largest ever conducted in Europe on influenza cases requiring intensive care, presented on the website of the medical journal ‘Critical Care,’ contradicts one of the messages on influenza A released by Spain's Ministry of Health and Department of Health, which have reported that patients with influenza A cases had previous health problems.

"The findings contain important messages for both the general population and for health authorities and medical intensivists. For the general population, an appeal to healthy people without risk factors to avoid falling prey to overconfidence in regard to influenza A. Although the vast majority of those affected will overcome the flu without complications, a small percentage will have pneumonia and should be hospitalized."

"The natural symptoms of the disease is usually three or four days of fever, generally over 38 degrees with a steady improvement in the following days. But a minority of patients, around the fourth or fifth day, get worse," reports Jordi Rello , head of the intensive care unit of Tarragona Joan XXIII Hospital and coordinator of the study. Therefore, if a sufferer experiences breathing difficulties after contracting the flu, they should seek medical attention urgently but the main point of the study is that no risk factors or diseases have made them particularly vulnerable."

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