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How can they tell if it's swine flu or seasonal flu now?

(16 Posts)
nappyaddict Tue 06-Oct-09 15:14:16

October to April is the typical time to get seasonal flu, so I can't see how anyone is going to really know which sort they've got now.

thedollshouse Tue 06-Oct-09 15:17:14

I don't they can and they aren't generally bothering to even say its swine flu now.

My fil has been very ill with flu and managed to have the added complication of developing pneumonia but his sick note said flu and GP didn't mention swine flu. I don't think they are worrying about swine flue anymore.

nappyaddict Tue 06-Oct-09 15:18:52

It must differ in different areas. A few at our school have been diagnosed with swine flu.

OhYouBadBadKitten Tue 06-Oct-09 15:19:20

It seems that in general swine flu replaced other flu varieties in the southern hemi-sphere. It is likely that will happen here as it has happened in previous pandemics. In general I don't suppose it matters which variety of flu you have, some people get them as relatively benign illnesses and some get severe cases.

seeker Tue 06-Oct-09 15:24:45

I don"t think it matters. Flu's flu.

Oh and a bad cold is a bad cold and NOT flu - but that's another thread!

theswooney Tue 06-Oct-09 17:32:15

So what do you do about the fact that some people have been swabbed and are positive for H1N1 but still only had 'bad cold' type symptoms, while other people in their family had what you'd expect for the illness 'flu' - laid up in bed for days, etc.? Same virus, different illnesses... after all we know it can also cause subclinical symptoms where people have even less than a bad cold.

It seems like you could have symptoms that are just bad cold symptoms, caused by a flu virus. Just to complicate things grin. (Personally I still wouldn't say I had 'flu' unless I had the laid up in bed kind of illness.)

At the end of the day a lot more people will have fluey illnesses this winter, because of all the H1N1 about. But most of us will never find out if a specific bout of illness was caused by H1N1, or something different, and it probably doesn't matter that much.

McDreamy Tue 06-Oct-09 17:35:35

They can't, would be too expensive to test everyone as we are in "flu season" and it doesn't matter what the result would be if they did screen as the treatment would be the same.

Hulababy Tue 06-Oct-09 17:37:22

The only way they know is through swabbing.

There is a testing centre in the town nearwhere I am. Something daft like 90% of people swabbed for SF (and these people were treated for SF and given Tamiflu) came back with negative results.

At one point they were diagnosing anyone with any flu symptoms as SF. TBH anyone with vague cold symptoms would have been diagnosed via the flowchart online. And the majority of people were not swabbed so have no idea if it was or wasn't SF.

Without the swb test you have no idea what it is.

It desn't really matter TBH if it is normal flu or swine flu. And a really bad cold can be as bad too. They all need treating in the same way - rest, fluids and keeping out of work/school til feeling better.

nappyaddict Tue 06-Oct-09 23:04:04

But I thought they are only giving Tamiflu for people if it's swine flu not seasonal flu?

Hulababy Wed 07-Oct-09 15:02:30

That would be testing anyone presenting with symptoms. Only way to know for sure.

After all SF symptoms are apparently similar to all manner of other things including a cold, seasonal flu, ear and throat infections, early meningitus, etc.

islandofsodor Mon 12-Oct-09 09:58:37

I would like to know this too. Dh is laid up in bed with flu all weekend, hacking cough, streaming nose, sneezing all over the place.

He has not gone into work today and if he doensn't work he doesn't get paid.

Are the side effects of tamiflu really bad, is it worth trying to get it or just sit it out?

dikkertjedap Mon 12-Oct-09 12:45:04

Island of Sodor - my DH was prescribed tamiflu and had no side effects and really helped within 4 hours to get temperature down (paracetamol plus nurofen maximum amounts did not bring temp down) smile. However, was over the weekend concerned that dd had swine flu(according to NHS website was swine flu and we got the number to pick up a prescription - only am not in UK at the moment so that would not have been possible anyway). Took her therefore to out of hours GP (yes, he wanted her to come in and sit a few chairs away from other people) and turned out that she had tonsillitis. So she is now on anti-biotics and already feeling a lot better. According to the out of hours GP if you have swollen glands it is unlikely to be swine flu (no idea why this is).hmm

Anyway, given high level of misdiagnosis your DH might want to see GP and if this is really not possible and have high temp then get tamiflu???

islandofsodor Mon 12-Oct-09 12:59:25

He doesn't have a temp but it can't be tonsillitus as he had them removed last year.

He is reluctant to get it diagnosed as he feels it might label him and he might be forced to take even longer off work. he is hoping to be well enough to go into college on Thursday.

Elibean Mon 12-Oct-09 13:19:32

If he doesn't have a temp, its unlikely to be swine flu - possible, according to some reports, apparently, but very unlikely.

There are plenty of nasty cold viruses around atm, with or without temps (dd2 just had one, with).

Hope he's better soon!

islandofsodor Mon 12-Oct-09 13:36:30

He took his temp yesterday and it was 37.5 which is normal for an adult isn;t it.

I'll get him to keep checking.

Bucharest Mon 12-Oct-09 13:38:48

Was chatting to a friend this morning whose doctor's husband is a virologist at a university working on various flu strains..apparently swine flu in its current mutation is much less debilitating than normal flu, so if you feel like a bag of shite it's prob swine flu, 2 bags and it's normal flu. <not his technical comparison tools, incidentally> grin

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