Is it the flu, or just a sore throat?
CIBOLO, Texas, 02 may 2009 - When Hayden Henshaw came down with a new and worrying kind of influenza last month, he thought he had strep throat.
Henshaw, 18, and a senior at Steele High School northeast of San Antonio, was among the first U.S. patients to catch a new strain of the H1N1 swine flu virus, which has spread to 13 countries.
Within days Henshaw's fever spiked to 102 degrees Fahrenheit (39 degrees Celsius), and he was confined to bed.
"I couldn't lift my head up to get out of bed to take a drink. I was really sick," said Henshaw, who along with his family have been under voluntary quarantine for a week. "I couldn't stop coughing."
Mexico, the worst-hit country, has reported as many as 176 deaths from the virus. Cases have been reported around the world, mostly among travelers from Mexico, but they have been mild and most people recovered so far with little or no treatment.
The only death outside Mexico was a Mexican toddler visiting Texas.
Henshaw has recovered and is feeling better. But he's still confined to his two-story stucco house, along with his family, who were advised by local health officials to remain in "voluntary quarantine."
A "do not disturb" sign hangs from the front door and the phone has been turned off in an attempt to ward off an onslaught of calls from journalists. Inside, surgical masks hang from the doors and cans of Lysol and hand sanitizers are in plentiful supply.
Henshaw said he has grown tired of television and video games, and fears to venture onto the Internet because his class-mates are blaming him and two other flu-infected classmates for interrupting their lives.
"I tell them, hey, I didn't ask for any of this," he said. "I just want to leave."
"It's been a constant turmoil," said Patrick Henshaw, Hayden's father. "It's like we've done something wrong or something."