Is it Swine Flu or Allergies?
What Ails You
If you aren't sure how to differentiate between common allergy symptoms and signs that you could have the swine flu, you're in good company. But while you may not be sure which it is, the experts say that there are some telltale signs that can help you determine if you really do have swine flu.
The Swine Flu Pandemic
The World Health Organization recently named the Swine Flu a pandemic, sparking fear in the hearts of many people, since this flu has made some people extremely sick and even proved fatal in some cases.
If you are worried about whether you have the swine flu or allergies, it may help clear up some of the confusion to understand that in most people, the symptoms of the swine flu are very similar to that of other common strains of influenza and are in fact different from allergy symptoms. Some of the types of swine flu symptoms that you can expect include:
- Sore throat
- Body aches
- Extreme tiredness
- Lack of appetite
Some people with the swine flu also experience diarrhea and nausea, too, which are not typical allergy symptoms.[i]
Signs of Allergies
If you have seasonal allergies, though, your allergy symptoms will be different from those of swine flu. You will likely have nasal and sinus allergy symptoms and could have extreme itchiness. On the other hand, you probably will not have any fever, body aches, chills or stomach ailments. And even when you have typical allergy symptoms that seem to worsen, you probably don't need to worry that it's the swine flu. You are more likely to be at risk for getting a sinus infection, which is a common complication of allergies.
When it Could Be Swine Flu
When your symptoms do seem to be more than allergies or sinus pain, though, and they are accompanied by the telltale fever and other symptoms that could mean you have swine flu or something else that could be contagious, it is important to take care to prevent the spread of your germs.[ii] You should also seek medical care to confirm if you do have this virus. If you have severe symptoms or are at high risk for becoming very ill, your physician will likely perform a lab test to determine if you do have swine flu, and may also give you antiviral drugs to help lessen the course of your illness.[iii]
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