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Swine Flu vs. Regular/Seasonal Flu: Should You Be Worried?

By Rheyanne Weaver HERWriter
 
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We keep hearing about all the people dying from the swine flu, but is it really that much different than the regular flu? Do people really need to be that concerned about catching it and dying? Are the death tolls the same and do you really need to get shots?

According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 36,000 people die each year in the United States from the regular, seasonal flu. About 200,000 people are hospitalized due to the regular flu, though people older than 65 are mainly affected.

The swine flu affects mainly affects those under 25, according to the CDC. The CDC reported that so far there have been 477 deaths in the U.S. from the swine flu, as posted on August 14. Internationally, there have been 1,462 deaths and 177,457 confirmed cases of swine flu since the last update. According to the World Health Organization, the main concern with the swine flu is that it is a new virus that most people do not have immunity to (except for those older than 64, who generally are immune, as the CDC mentioned). The swine flu is contagious, like the regular flu, and can particularly harm those with pre-existing health conditions.

Basically, if you have a pre-existing condition, including pregnancy, and know you are not immune to the swine flu, it is best to stay away from sick people and have good hygiene. As with the regular flu, report symptoms to a doctor.
Symptoms of the swine flu are similar to the regular flu and can include fever, sore throat, coughing, runny or stuffy nose, headaches, body aches, chills and fatigue. There have also been reported cases of vomiting and diarrhea, according to the CDC.

Two antiviral medications have been used to treat the swine flu: oseltamivir (Tamiflu ®) and zanamivir (Relenza ®). Vaccines are being developed currently. Other types of drugs need to be checked first, since they make cause adverse reactions. For the regular flu, there are vaccines available and antiviral drugs can also be taken.

Add a Comment6 Comments

EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I think I had the swine flu at the beginning of the media frenzy last year, I say think as I have not visited a doctor in over 10 years. Google is my doctor, its actually quicker than waiting in the waiting rooms for an hour past your original appointment time. Atleast that's how it is in England.

It was pretty rough, the family friend that I think I contracted it off was placed on his own ward in hospital and was not allowed visitors. I didnt fancy that so just stayed home and sweated it out. It was the only time I have not gone into the office when I'm ill, and I almost contemplated phoning the doctor. I put it down to the fact that I had recently been eating a lot of junk food which is a change as I usually only eat fresh veg & meat. Anytime I go back to junk food for a few days and then try and go back to eating very little carbs I seem to contract a cold, flu or someother virus. I think it takes a while for the body to switch from sugar to fat and this may cause some drop in immune system. I'm also pretty sure that by avoiding high sugar carbs and processed junk in the first place that we can defend ourselves from a lot of illnesses like flu etc. Also Vitamin D is supposed to be better than any jab for staving off the flu!

February 22, 2010 - 4:40am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Well.. I'm at the beginning of it!
so far it has started out with a major sore throat.
My 4 year old son has it with extreme tiredness..
I'm not looking forward to it..

WWWHHHYYY!

and PS. We hadn't gotten the shot either. Didn't feel like being a human tester.

November 19, 2009 - 10:56pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I am under 25 and i have the swine flu, i didn't get the swine flu shot for the same reasons as everyone else has said. From my experience the swine flu is less of a hassle then the regular flu. The only difference is I'm a lot more tired than when i get the regular flu.

November 1, 2009 - 1:46pm
VegGirl89

I haven't had a flu shot since I was a small child (and I'm not sure how many times I had one then) and I have only gotten the flu once. Maybe I'm lucky? I really believe that you can counter the chance of getting the flu through proper health and nutrition. As for the swine flu, I agree with the other posts--it is a new vaccine, we don't know the side effects, and I am not particularly worried. I know people my age are more susceptible to the swine flue, but I will take it head on if necessary.

October 29, 2009 - 2:08pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

My neurologist advised me to get the regular flu shot but did NOT recommend the swine flu shot indicating that the swine flu shot has not had enought time testing and the adjuvants used in the vaccine were not used in the testing - ie. we'll be the testers. Also, the adjuvants are oil based and have been previously linked in the past to the development of many neurological and autoimmune disorders-MS, Parkinson's, Lupus, Autism, Alzheimers, etc. Many of these side effects won't show up for years. Because of these reasons, he emphatically did not recommend it and I won't be taking it.

Of course, not everyone agrees. My niece has a rare autoimmune disorder and my sister said that their doctor said the child "must" have the swine flu shot. My sister and her kids are taking it. I'm not and neither are my daughter and grandchildren.

In the end, it's a personal decision. Bottom line - do your research and ask questions. If you're not comfortable, get answers that make you comfortable before you take the "jab" as the English say.

Thanks, Rheyanne, for giving us the latest scoop on CDC recommendations. It's an issue on everyone's mind.

October 27, 2009 - 10:45pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

My children received the regular flu shot today but are not going to get the swine flu shot. It is too new and has not been studied enough for me to put it into their bodies.

September 30, 2009 - 6:24pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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