My question is about the swine flu virus. I live in New York.

Patient: My question is about the swine flu virus. I live in New York (an area where many cases of swine flu have been reported), and I’m about to travel abroad to see my family, which includes a 3-year old kid. Almost all of the cases of swine flu in that country have their origin in someone who contracted the virus either in NYC or on an airplane.

I intend to stay away from them for a few days, just to make sure that I didn’t catch anything in NY just before leaving or on the airplane. My question is: How many days do you think I should avoid having contact with them? What is the incubation period of swine flu? Are 3 or 4 days enough, or should I wait for 7 days (assuming I have no symptoms, of course)?

Also, does one HAVE TO have a high fever to suspect swine flu, or can one have swine flu without a fever? In other words, is NOT having a fever a guarantee that you don’t have the swine flu?

Optional Information
Gender: Male
Age: 30
State/Country: Massachusetts
Already Tried: I have no symptoms of flu.

Doctor: The typical incubation period of swine flu is around 2 days with a maximum of 4 days in some cases. But is is best to avoid contact with another person for a period of 7 days because it is still thought that a person can remain contagious for a period of about one week or so.

You MAY or MAY NOT have fever. Even if you do not have fever you will have symptoms such as nasal congestion and nasal discharge. Usually in the vast majority of cases symptoms of swine flu are non-specific and may be mixed with the common cold or flu that we see routinely. So there is no specific symptom of this condition and the condition can only be confirmed by testing blood for the infection.

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