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Home Swine Flu vs. "Regular Flu" - Differences How to know when the flu becomes dangerous
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How to know when the flu becomes dangerous

It starts as a simple cough which is later accompanied by a sore throat, fever, body aches, and chills. After a week of lying in bed with these symptoms, the person typically recovers, but some do not. Every year, thousands of people die from complications brought on by the seasonal flu. The novel H1N1 flu pandemic has also caused deaths for many of the same reasons. Any person who develops symptoms of swine flu or seasonal flu should inform a doctor immediately to begin treatment and to prevent a small infection from becoming deadly.

Most of swine flu deaths are from people were frail before contracting the flu. Autoimmune diseases, asthma, chronic bronchitis and general poor health all put one at a greater risk from developing complications from the flu. There are subtle clues which tell a person that his case might be getting complicated. Only a doctor can determine the strain of flu causing the initial infection, but the patient needs to watch out that regular flu or symptoms of swine flu do not herald a worsening problem.

How can one determine if his are stomach flu symptoms or symptoms of swine flu? In most instances, it is impossible to tell. Anyone with a fever over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, chills, excessive tiredness, nausea, or diarrhea should contact a doctor. A more thorough evaluation by the physician including a blood test will be able to let the doctor know if the symptoms are of swine flu, seasonal flu, or another cause. Treatment for all forms of flu include bed rest, isolation for seven to ten days at home, drinking plenty of fluids, and taking acetaminophen or aspirin to reduce fever. For high risk groups, the doctor might prescribe antiviral medications. These must be started within 48 hours from the onset of the flu or they will not be effective in reducing the duration of flu symptoms.

What are the warning signs for those with symptoms of swine flu? If symptoms of swine flu improve but suddenly turn worse, severe difficulty in breathing, dizziness, pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen or signs of dehydration develop, medical attention must be sought immediately. While not always present among the symptoms of swine flu, vomiting which prevents food or liquids from being held down should be treated by a doctor. Intravenous fluids or anti-nausea medications might be needed.

While they might seem like those of seasonal flu, symptoms of swine flu should be evaluated to prompt and thorough treatment and to prevent complications and death from the flu.



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