In this article we will provide information regarding the difference between regular flu and swine flu.
Regular Flu VS Swine Flu
Regular flu, also known as seasonal influenza, is caused by three types of viruses, named influenza type A, B and C. Regular flu affects the respiratory tract. On the other hand, swine flu or pig influenza is caused by H1N1 virus that originates in pigs but due to mutation it can infect humans. Another animal strain of flu virus that can be transmitted to humans is H5N1 that comes from birds. The first global outbreak of swine flu began in Mexico in 2009 when millions of people worldwide were infected because there wasn’t any protection against the virus. Regular flu can be prevented with yearly vaccinations but the vaccine does not decrease the risk of infection with H1N1 virus. Regular flu vaccine consists of the three common influenza viruses type A, B and C while swine flu vaccination consists only of H1N1 virus.
Difference in Symptoms between Regular Flu and Swine Flu
Early symptoms in cases of both regular flu and swine flu are the same. Initially, the infected person experiences coughing, sneezing, sore throat, headache, muscle and joint pain, runny nose and fatigue. Fever and chills are also common symptoms, that appear in both cases. Sometimes, infected people have also gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. With regular flu, the symptoms usually begin to subside after 4 days. On the other hand, with swine flu there is a possibility of severe respiratory symptoms that start within five days. These symptoms can develop into pneumonia or other fatal complications.
Difference in Risk Factors between Regular Flu and Swine Flu
People with high risk for regular flu are those over 50 years old, children between 6 month and two years of age and pregnant women. People suffering from chronic conditions and weakened immune system are also at high risk of contracting regular flu. Young and healthy people generally recover from seasonal flu without any serious complications. On the other hand, swine flu does not seem to pose the risk of complications for people aged over 65 but it is more dangerous for people younger than 25.
Diagnosis and Treatment for Regular Flu and Swine Flu
One cannot tell the difference between seasonal influenza and H1N1 flu. Your doctor can make correct diagnosis after laboratory tests. Treatment is the same in both cases and includes drinking plenty of fluids, rest and medications for relieving symptoms. Antiviral drugs Relenza and Tamiflu are effective in treating swine flu but only if taken in initial stage of infection.