Every news piece we hear or see these days has something to do with swine flu. We hear numbers and new countries and states where it has been confirmed. We hear of hospitalizations and the rush to finish a vaccine. But I haven’t heard a lot of information on symptoms and distinguished symptoms. Apparently, many people are mistaking symptoms since this is right in the midst of spring allergy season.
However, they symptoms are different. According to a news story on www.wpxi.com, “Itchy red eyes, a stuffy nose and shortness of breath are common symptoms of tree pollen allergy sufferers. Officials said swine flu symptoms are like regular influenza symptoms, but more acute. They include sore throat, coughing, fever and aches and pains.”
Allergy sufferers should be used to their symptoms, especially if they have lived in the same location for a number of years. Sure, symptoms can change and you can feel different year to year, but allergies don’t come with fever and aches and pains. Swine flu symptoms are akin to regular flu symptoms and should not be confused with allergy symptoms.
For allergy sufferers, antihistamines and nasal sprays usually work, whether prescription or over the counter. These will have no effect on flu sufferers, who should seek medical care immediately.
My seven year old daughter came home and said she thought her teacher may have the swine flu because she was sneezing. I told her it was probably allergies and that she probably did not have swine flu. But come on. Media, ease up a little bit. I know it is frightening when a new strain hits, but let’s not scare everyone.
One expert on our local news said we need to be careful like we are with our familiar flu, wash hands, don’t touch things that everyone else does (hand rails, elevator buttons, etc.). Know your symptoms. They are different for allergies. But again, if in doubt, go get it checked out. It’s always better to be safe than sorry and we all know symptoms can vary.