As the words “swine flu” have been sending many Americans into a panic, many also wonder what the difference is between swine flu and the regular flu.
The swine flu is in the category of influenza viruses which have the capability of affecting other species in addition to humans. Swine flu has already been reported in animals. In contrast, only humans can be infected by the regular influenza virus.
While some of the symptoms of swine flu are similar to those of regular flu, there are also other symptoms associated with swine flu. Although the symptoms of regular flu can be difficult enough to cope with, as well as regular flu having the potential to be life-threatening, the general consensus is that swine flu is not only harder to deal with but also more deadly. While the regular flu claims lives, the swine flu has already claimed many lives before this year’s flu season began.
The fever, cough, nausea or vomiting, and breathing problems which are associated with regular flu are often present in swine flu. Persistent vomiting may cause the person to become dehydrated. He may experience extreme dizziness or weakness. While part of this can be attributed to the virus itself, it is worsened by dehydration.
There are vaccines currently available for both types of flu. While you can guard yourself against both by getting standard vaccinations, there is a second option available to safeguard yourself against the swine flu. This second option is in the form of a nasal spray, which makes getting a swine flu vaccine easier and safer. However, as the nasal spray contains a small amount of live virus, individuals in some high-risk groups should not have it. These include people who have various types of medical conditions, and those who have weakened immune systems. If you are uncertain about whether the swine flu nasal spray is safe for you or a member of your family, your doctor is the best person to answer your questions.
If you do acquire either the swine flu or regular flu, appropriate treatment for either condition is basically the same. If you experience severe symptoms, such as loss of consciousness, you need to be seen by a physician immediately. In less severe cases, there are two main points: getting well; and not infecting other people while you are healing. If you are coping with either form of flu, stay home. No matter how busy or important your school or work schedule is, it is not a reason or excuse to pass the flu on to other people. At home, practicing rigorous cleanliness is necessary. You should also limit your contact with family members as much as possible. You should get as much rest and sleep as you can, and consume as much water as possible to reduce the risk of dehydration.
Although there are these few differences between swine flu and regular flu, the differences are not as major as many tend to believe. The most important point to keep in mind is to take both types of influenza seriously, so that you will do what you can to avoid contracting it, and take every precaution possible to avoid passing it on if you do become infected.