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Swine Flu: Should You Self-Diagnose?

By HERWriter
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With the swine flu all over the news, many people may be concerned about catching it and are curious about the symptoms. Some may even want to self-diagnose, but is that the correct action?

For those who don't have very severe symptoms, self-diagnosis might be a good idea. Just make sure to look at the symptoms and possibly clarify with your doctor to make sure it's nothing worse. Here are some symptoms from the Centers for Disease Control:

- Similar to flu
- Fever
- Cough

- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Stuffy nose
- Body aches
- Headaches
- Chills
- Fatigue
- Diarrhea
- Vomiting

Here are some symptoms that the CDC says on their Web site that adults should be more concerned about:

- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
- Sudden dizziness
- Confusion
- Severe or persistent vomiting
- Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough

My friend Tenae recently got the swine flu and is now recovered, so I decided to ask her a few questions about her experience. She said she never went to the doctor but knew she had swine flu because some of her mother's middle school students went to Mexico and came back with the swine flu (possibly not confirmed) and got her mother sick, who in turn got her sick. Here is a Q&A with Tenae, who did a self-diagnosis:

Q: When did you get the swine flu?
A: It was some time in May (the beginning).

Q: How long did it last?
A: It lasted like a good two, two and a half weeks.

Q: What were the symptoms?
A: I didn't have any symptoms until the day I had it. I just woke up one day and I had it.

Q: What were some of the side effects of the swine flu?
A: Chills, cold sweats.

Q: How do the swine flu and regular flu compare?
A: It was pretty much like almost having the [regular] flu but it was 10 times worse. When I had the [regular] flu as a kid, it lasted for two weeks.

Q: What were some of the symptoms of the regular flu?
A: Really bad sore throat, upset stomach, then the flu a few days later [paraphrased].

Q: Why do you think you got the swine flu?

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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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