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Know the Difference between a Cold and H1N1 Flu Symptoms



H1N1 Flu


Fever is rare with a cold.

Fever is usually present with the flu in up to 80% of all flu cases. A temperature of 100F or higher for 3 to 4 days is associated with the H1N1 flu.


A hacking, productive (mucus- producing) cough is often present with a cold.

A non-productive (non-mucus producing) cough is usually present with the H1N1 flu (sometimes referred to as dry cough).


Slight body aches and pains can be part of a cold.

Severe aches and pains are common with the H1N1 flu.

Stuffy Nose

Stuffy nose is commonly present with a cold and typically resolves spontaneously within a week.

Stuffy nose is not commonly present with the H1N1 flu.


Chills are uncommon with a cold.

60% of people who have the H1N1 flu experience chills.


Tiredness is fairly mild with a cold.

Tiredness is moderate to severe with the H1N1 flu.


Sneezing is commonly present with a cold.

Sneezing is not common with the H1N1 flu.

Sudden Symptoms

Cold symptoms tend to develop over a few days.

The H1N1 flu has a rapid onset within 3-6 hours. The flu hits hard and includes sudden symptoms like high fever, aches and pains.


A headache is fairly uncommon with a cold.

A headache is very common with the H1N1 flu, present in 80% of flu cases.

Sore Throat

Sore throat is commonly present with a cold.

Sore throat is not commonly present with the H1N1 flu.

Chest Discomfort

Chest discomfort is mild to moderate with a cold.

Chest discomfort is often severe with the H1N1 flu.

The only way to stop the spread of the epidemic is to spread the awareness.

The only portals of entry are the nostrils and mouth/throat. In a global epidemic of this nature, it's almost impossible to avoid coming into contact with H1N1 in spite of all precautions. Contact with H1N1 is not so much of a problem as proliferation is.

While you are still healthy and not showing any symptoms of H1N1 infection, in order to prevent proliferation, aggravation of symptoms and development of secondary infections, some very simple steps, not fully highlighted in most official communications, can be practiced (instead of focusing on how to stock N95 or Tamiflu):

1. Frequent hand-washing (well highlighted in all official communications).

2. "Hands-off-the-face" approach. Resist all temptations to touch any part of face (unless you want to eat, bathe or slap).

3. *Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine if you don't trust salt). *H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat/ nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms. Simple gargling prevents proliferation. In a way, gargling with salt water has the same effect on a healthy individual that Tamiflu has on an infected one.. Don't underestimate this simple, inexpensive and powerful preventative method.

4. Similar to 3 above, *clean your nostrils at least once every day with warm salt water. *Not everybody may be good at Jala Neti or Sutra Neti (very good Yoga asanas to clean nasal cavities), but *blowing the nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton buds dipped in warm salt water is very effective in bringing down viral population.*
5. *Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in Vitamin C (Amla and other citrus fruits). *If you have to supplement with Vitamin C tablets, make sure that it also has Zinc to boost absorption.

6. *Drink as much of warm liquids (tea, coffee, etc) as you can. *Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm.

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