From my corner of the world, it feels like the flu season is striking early this year. The swine flu never really went away and other viruses are lurking out there too. When you start feeling symptomatic, you want to know what you dealing with: a common cold, the flu, or the swine flu. To help read your symptoms, I have made a chart comparing these three common illnesses. Check it out when you read more.
|Cough||Mild to moderate, hacking, productive||Common and unproductive, painful chest||Common|
|Headaches||Occasionally||Common, often severe||Common|
|Body aches||Slight||Common, often severe||Common|
|Fever||Rare||Common, lasting 3 to 4 days||Common, but sometimes absent|
|Fatigue||Mild||Common, can be severe||Common, can be severe|
|Time frame of symptoms||Gradually appear||Come on suddenly (3 to 6 hours)||Come on rapidly|
To clarify, influenza, aka the flu, is a respiratory illness. People often mistakenly call gastroentritis — "irritated and inflamed stomach and intestines" caused by bacteria, virus, or other irritant — the stomach flu. Common symptoms of gastroenteritis are nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.