Patients admitted to hospital with suspected swine flu are likely to suffer from vomiting, pneumonia and have other underlying health issues, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC examined 30 patients admitted to hospital with H1N1 swine flue in various age groups from 29–89 years of age in California with different levels of severity.

More than half (60%) suffered from vomiting and lung X-rays of 46% showed signs of pneumonia.

As many as 20% required admission to the ICU, and 13% were put on mechanical ventilation. Only half received antiviral treatment with oseltamivir, most commonly known as Tamiflu.

Underlying medical conditions included chronic lung disease, conditions associated with immunosuppression, chronic heart disease, diabetes and obesity.

The CDC’s science and public health programme interim deputy director Anne Schuchat said that CDC is recommending all patients hospitalised with the new H1N1 virus receive antiviral treatment, even if admitted more than 48 hours after symptom onset.

By staff writer.