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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Is it Flu or a Cold?

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says about one sixth of the U.S. population has had swine flu since it broke out last April. As many as 10,000 have died, including 1,100 children, all of which is about a third of the number of deaths each year from seasonal flu. The flu season’s not over yet, but we’ve had more than our share of hype over swine flu, haven’t we?

Frankly, I wonder if we can trust their statistics. I remember reading once they weren't going to keep counting swine flu cases. They must be deriving their figures from some computer model. Does anybody know?

One thing's for sure. There haven't been as many cases of swine flu as anticipated, and they haven't been as severe as expected. Could there be more later this winter? Possibly. We'll have to wait and see. At least now there seems to be less demand for the vaccine.

Since an important part of preparedness is staying healthy and knowing what to do when we’re sick, here’s a question. Do you know how to tell when you’ve got the flu? That may seem like a strange question, but it isn’t. Most of us live in the fast lane and don’t pay attention to our bodies and what they’re telling us. We don’t know how to “read” the signs. Knowing the difference between the flu and a cold will affect how you treat the symptoms and whether or not you go to a doctor.

I’ll summarize the differences between flu and colds here.

- Occurs in up to 80% of flu cases Body temp of 100 F or more may last 3-4 days.
- Rarely with a cold

- Nonproductive, dry cough often part of flu
- Hacking, mucous producing cough common to colds

- Severe aches common with flu
- Slight aches common with a cold

Stuffy nose
- Not common with the flu
- Common with a cold May go away after a week.

- 60% of people have chills with flu
- Not common to colds

- Moderate to severe with flu
- Usually mild with a cold

- Not common with flu
- Typical for colds

Sudden symptoms
- Flu symptoms hit within 3-6 hours.
- Colds develop over a few days.

- Occurs in 80% of flu cases
- Not common to colds

Sore throat
- Not common to flu
- Common to colds

Chest discomfort
- Often severe with flu
- Mild to moderate with colds

Stay well and prepared!

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Missouri Preppers Network Est. Jan 17, 2009 All contributed articles owned and protected by their respective authors and protected by their copyright. Missouri Preppers Network is a trademark protected by American Preppers Network Inc. All rights reserved. No content or articles may be reproduced without explicit written permission from the authors.