The other day my youngest came home from school with cold-like symptoms. Of course, I instantly wondered was this the beginning of the H1N1 attack on my home turf or was this just a common cold. I haven’t even had the chance to take a stand on whether or not, I should vaccinate my kids. I kept him home from school for a few days. After wading through a pile of information on the H1N1, I was able to conclude that he didn’t have H1N1 based on the following information published from the University of Calgary. It is the clearest explanation of exactly what constitutes symptoms of H1N1.
Know the difference between symptoms of the Common Cold and H1N1
- COLD: Fever is rare with a cold.
- H1N1: Fever is usually present with the flu in up to 80% of all flu cases. A temperature of 100°F or higher for 3 to 4 days is associated with the H1N1 flu.
- COLD: A hacking, productive (mucus- producing) cough is often present.
- H1N1:A non-productive (non-mucus producing) cough is usually present (sometimes referred to as dry cough).
- Cold: Slight body aches and pains can be part of a cold.
- H1N1: Severe aches and pains are common with the H1N1 flu.
4) Stuffy Nose:
- Cold: Stuffy nose is commonly present with a cold and typically resolves spontaneously within a week.
- H1N1: Stuffy nose is not commonly present with the H1N1 flu.
- Cold: Chills are uncommon with a cold.
- H1N1: 60% of people who have the H1N1 flu experience chills.
- Cold: Tiredness is fairly mild with a cold.
- H1N1: Tiredness is moderate to severe with the H1N1 flu.
- Cold: Sneezing is commonly present with a cold.
- H1N1: Sneezing is not common with the H1N1 flu.
8) Sudden Symptoms:
- Cold: Cold symptoms tend to develop over a few days.
- H1N1: The H1N1 flu has a rapid onset within 3-6 hours. The flu hits hard and includes sudden symptoms like high fever, aches and pains.
- Cold: A headache is fairly uncommon with a cold.
- H1N1: A headache is very common with the H1N1 flu, present in 80% of flu cases.
10) Sore Throat
- Cold: Sore throat is commonly present with a cold.
- H1N1: Sore throat is not commonly present with the H1N1 flu.
11) Chest Discomfort
- Cold: Chest discomfort is mild to moderate with a cold.
- H1N1: Chest discomfort is often severe with the H1N1 flu.
I am still not decided on what to do about the H1N1 vaccine which is supposed to be available in our schools in the coming weeks. What will you do?