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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Is it Swine Flu?

Are you worried about catching the swine flu, H1N1?  Seems like nearly everyone I know knows somebody who either has a very severe case of the regular flu or has actually been diagnosed with swine flu. In our upper Midwest city, nearly all the public and parochial schools have been closed for the entire week because so many students have been felled by some variety of flu. This is an unprecedented occurrence for October. If you or loved ones become ill, here is a comparison of H1N1 flu symptoms with common cold symptoms.

    H1N1 Flu
Fever is rare with
a cold. 
Fever is usually present with the flu in up to 80% of all flu cases. A temperature of 100°F or higher for 3 to 4 days is associated with the flu. 
A hacking, productive (mucus- producing) cough is often present with a cold. 
A non-productive (non-mucus producing) cough is usually present with the flu (sometimes referred to as dry cough). 
Slight body aches and pains can be part of a cold
Severe aches and pains are common with the flu
Stuffy Nose
Stuffy nose is commonly present with a cold and typically resolves spontaneously within a week
Stuffy nose is not commonly present with the flu
Chills are uncommon with 
a cold. 
60% of people who have the flu experience chills
Tiredness is fairly mild with a cold
Tiredness is moderate to severe with the flu
Sneezing is common with
a cold
Sneezing is not common with the flu
Sudden Symptoms
Cold symptoms tend to develop over a few days
The flu has a rapid onset within 3-6 hours. The flu hits hard and includes sudden symptoms like high fever, aches and pains
A headache is fairly uncommon with a cold
A headache is very common with the flu, present in 80% of flu cases
Sore Throat
Sore throat is commonly present with a cold
Sore throat is not commonly present with the flu
Chest Discomfort
Chest discomfort is mild to moderate with a cold
Chest discomfort is often severe with the flu
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