Illness caused due to influenza virus is known as flu.(1,3) Flu multiplies inside the body causing the symptoms of fever and sore throat. The seasonal flu virus changes very less every year; and therefore people have resistance to it.
Swine flu is caused by influenza virus with a completely different type, i.e. the H1N1 strain.(2) There is change in the H1N1 strains every year, making people more susceptible to the swine flu.
Both types of flu are accompanied by a fever, runny nose and dry (non-productive) hacking cough. There are differences in the symptoms, which affect the severity of the flu.
How Is Swine Flu Different From Seasonal Flu?
6 Ways In Which Swine Flu Is Different From Seasonal Flu:
Swine Flu: The aches and pains of swine flu are severe. These pains bring in lot of discomfort in swine flu.
Seasonal Flu: Whereas, moderate body pains are experienced if suffering from seasonal flu.
Chills: Most of the people suffering from swine flu experience chills, while in seasonal flu only mild chills are felt.
Swine Flu: Sneezing is not a common symptom of swine flu.
Seasonal Flu: While in seasonal flu, the patient suffers from frequent sneezing.(4)
Swine Flu: Swine flu has a sudden onset of symptoms.(5) The patient experiences sudden symptoms, such as high fever, aches and chills. Diarrhea and vomiting are common symptoms present when suffering from swine flu.(6) Due to this, there is loss of body fluids, which can lead to symptoms of dehydration in swine flu, which complicates the illness.
Seasonal Flu: In seasonal flu, the symptoms set in within few days, with the patient experiencing a flushed face, loss of appetite, dizziness and nausea. The symptoms of seasonal flu last for 4-7 days.
Swine Flu: Headache is a very common symptom found in all suffering from swine flu (7).
Seasonal Flu: In seasonal flu, headache may or may not be present.
Swine Flu: A patient suffering from swine flu need not necessarily gets a sore throat.
Seasonal Flu: Whereas, a sore throat is common in the patient suffering from seasonal flu.(1)
Swine Flu: In swine flu, chest discomfort is very severe.(8,9)
Seasonal Flu: In seasonal flu, chest discomfort is not common, and if present is just moderate. If, in case you experience a severe chest pain, consult a doctor immediately.
Recovery From Swine Flu
- Most people recover from the symptoms of the flu without any treatment. If at high risk or complication of swine flu, do not delay medical advice.
- Few precautions if taken can prevent you from getting the swine flu infection and also preventing its spread.(10)
- Cover nose and mouth while coughing and sneezing and throw the tissue after use.(11)
- Wash hands with soap, especially after a cough or sneeze. You can also use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth, as it can lead to spread of germs.(11)
- Wear a face mask, which keeps the nose and mouth covered and prevents the spread of the disease if you are around other people.(11)
- Stay home during the period of illness.(11)
- Swine flu can prove to be fatal; therefore one should never ignore the complications and seek medical advice if any symptoms cause a lot of discomfort.