Can you have the swine flu and not know it?

Q: Can someone be a carrier of swine flu if they just got back from Mexico even though they don’t have swine flu?

A: This is a great question, but unfortunately it’s a hard one to answer with much certainty.  This is such a new virus that we are still learning about all of its various properties.  However, using the common influenza viruses that we see every year as the closest comparison we currently have, we do not typically see carriers, which are people harboring the virus and not getting sick from it.  So our most educated guess at this time is that if you don’t have any symptoms, you are unlikely to have the infection.  Obviously, if you’ve been exposed to someone with the illess, or have recently been to a place where it is currently active, be sure to seek prompt medical attention if any symptoms develop.

For the most up-to-date information on the H1N1 (swine flu) outbreak, see stay tuned to the OSU Emergency Management web page and the CDC Swine Flu page.