You can hardly watch the news or read the paper without there being a story about Swine Flu, what is classified as the H1N1 pandemic that is wrecking havoc all over the world.
What is it, however about this particular strain of the flu virus that is causing such concern?
For all intents and purposes, swine flu and common flu seem to have the same symptoms.
How swine flu is like the common flu:
- There are generally observed symptoms such as fever (generally high), cough, Runny nose or stuffy nose, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue or tiredness, which can be extreme, diarrhea and vomiting, (at times). These symptoms are more or less what is observed in swine flu as well as common flu.
- The infection is often self limiting; that is to say it will run its course and end in due course, without needing anything in the way of strong drugs; just those that alleviate the uncomfortable symptoms.
- The rate of death from both kinds of flu is negligible (about 4 per 1000 positive cases)
- It is mostly immune compromised individuals or persons who develop complications who succumb to the disease
So then how is Swine flu different from common flu?
- Swine flu is more contagious and more particularly is more readily able to pass from humans to animals; this is the major difference.
- Pregnant women, senior citizens and children as well as people with underlying medical conditions are more susceptible to the disease as well as complications that may accrue from them.
- This kind of flu has been seen as being more able to mutate and change form than other strains of the disease and as such is able to better and more quickly develop resistance to medication that you may take to cure it.
- Within some days of the infection being contracted, complications such as severe respiratory symptoms that could worsen and even develop into pneumonia or similar life threatening conditions may arise.
So while there are several similarities, there are several marked dissimilarities between common flu and regular flu, which is why we need to be vigilant to spot the symptoms of the disease so that it can be arrested as soon as possible. It is important to maintain hygiene and sanitation so that the spread of the disease is limited.