Swine Flu v. Seasonal Flu

by Emily Baird on September 6, 2009

Some Ohio students have only been back to school for a couple of weeks, but four colleges are already reporting more than 150 cases of the swine flu total.

Zanesville-Muskingum County Health Department’s Dr. Vicki Whitacre says it’s hard to tell the difference between swine flu, also known as H1N1, and the seasonal flu. She says the symptoms are very similar.

“You get a high fever. You feel bad. You ache all over, and the fever doesn’t have to be real high. You just feel really bad. You may cough, and you tend not to have a runny nose, ” says Whitacre.

She says there’s only one real difference. If you have swine flu, you can get diarrhea or vomiting.

Whitacre says once you notice a fever, you need to stay home and go see a doctor.

“Testing is no longer being done for H1N1, or swine flu, unless you are hospitalized. They are treating it as if it’s the seasonal flu, ” says Whitacre.

She says you can still get a nasal swab though to tell if you have Influenza A or Influenza B.

Whitacre says pregnant women, young children, and young adults are most susceptible to complications from the swine flu, which can lead to pneumonia or meningitis.

Whitacre says if testing of the swine flu vaccine goes well, it should be available by mid-October.

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