My name is Ericka Sura. I'm from Whitewater, Wisconsin and I'm 17 years old.
Before I had swine flu I didn't really know a lot about it. We had letters from our school sent out to all the students trying to explain it. Everything else I knew from before was either from the news or friends talking about it. I knew that in Mexico where it started that people were dying from it. A lot of my friends were saying that it would never come to Whitewater just because we're just such a small town.
When I first came down with it I had swim practice that day. I was just coughing all the time and I just thought I had swallowed a whole lot of chlorine water. I was warm to the touch. I had a headache. I had a fever of about 100 [degrees]. My mom just called me that day and she said we have to bring you to the doctor, I think you have swine flu. The girl I babysat for during the summer had swine flu -- they think that's how I got it.
I was quarantined. I wasn't allowed out of my house for another five days. I had to take the medication Thermaflu. When they told me I had it I wasn't really that scared about it because we're in the U.S. so I know we had good health care and good doctors. But I did end up getting six other girls on the swim team sick.
It does travel really fast by coughing or sneezing so I was coughing that whole time during swim practice.
When I got it and I came back a week later to swim practice, for three days we tracked the temperatures of all the girls on the swim team and if it was anywhere near 100 [degrees] you got sent home because you had a fever and you couldn't be there.
I do try and watch the news about it or read about it. I think we're getting pretty prepared -- the U.S., anyway -- with the vaccine coming out.
Even throughout the summer [my school] sent out reminders about how the symptoms of swine flu and what to look for and how you should proceed during the school year. I think they handled it really well.
Ericka Sura is a high school student in Whitewater, Wisconsin.