Cold or Flu? Experts explain the difference

By Nicole Bell - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - When it comes to swine or the H1N1 flu, symptoms are virtually the same as the seasonal flu. They include fever, extreme fatigue, and muscle aches.

"They tend to come on fairly aggressively. In other words, the first day you may have symptoms you just think you are getting a cold, it may be minor, but by day two you know this is rougher than what you're used to dealing with," said Dr. Kenneth Lucas, Patient First.

Cold symptoms usually begin with a sore throat which experts say goes away after a day or two. Then there's the runny nose, congestion, and cough. Those suffering with a cold likely will not have a fever.

"With the flu you really feel like someone hit you with a bat," said Lucas.

Elizabeth Jacobs says she's concerned but not worried about her family getting the flu.

"I've never had the flu and my doctor keeps saying I should get a flu shot and I keep saying to him why mess with success," Jacobs said.

The state is spending more than 14 million in federal grant money to better prepare the state and residents against the swine flu virus.

"We need to educate people about this influenza virus strain, we need to provide them with the H1N1 vaccine when it becomes available," said Dr. Diane Helentjarvis, Virginia Department of Health.

That federal grant money is being awarded to the state in three stages.

"Phase one and two are for planning purposes. Phase three is for implementation, to actually do what we need to do to help combat that disease," said Helentjarvis.

For now, residents are being encouraged to learn more about the signs and symptoms connected to swine flu and how to avoid becoming infected. If you have questions about the H1N1 or swine flu virus the state has, a support call center to answer your questions. That number is 1-877-ask-vdh3.

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