Symptoms: Cold vs. H1N1

I’m home from work for a couple days because my daughter has a fever. She had it last night and I’ve been keeping an eye on her and watching the symptoms. I realized today how much more a fever means than it used to, yet at the same time we have to be sure that we don’t throw ourselves into a complete panic.

Ironically, I had just received an email that included a cold vs. Swine Flu symptom comparison which I found to be helpful. Most of it we already know, but it’s surprising to me how similar and how different the symptoms can be.



Swine 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 100°F or higher for 3 to 4 days is associated with the flu.


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

A nonproductive (non-mucus producing) cough is usually present with the 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 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 flu.


Chills are uncommon with a cold.

60% of people who have the flu experience chills.


Tiredness is fairly mild with a cold.

Tiredness is moderate to severe with the flu.


Sneezing is commonly present with a cold.

Sneezing is not common with the flu.

Sudden Symptoms

Cold symptoms tend to develop over a few days.

The 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 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 flu.

If you are dealing with a sick child or have any of these symptoms yourself, drink lots of fluids and get plenty of rest. If you aren’t sure or believe you may have H1N1 call the clinic before you go to find out what their procedures are.

I just thought it was nice to see what the differences are the symptoms. I know it may seem slightly off topic and has nothing to do with being broke, but our health and the health of our loved ones directly affects our quality of life. After all, great healthy lives are the reason we even bother, isn’t it?

I also want to add that as a single parent, having a sick child can be a bit overwhelming. On the other hand, I couldn’t be more grateful that I don’t work somewhere that makes me feel guilty for not being at work, or is docking my pay. I have worked places with no sick time in the past and I sympathize with anyone in that position. Most people feel bad naturally for missing work, but the stress from not being paid at the same time would be unbearable.

From the looks of it, my daughter may just have a stomach bug. I’m not sure yet, but I do think she’s okay. Her only concern is that I wouldn’t let her go to school and made her hang out with me in the house all day.

Stay healthy everyone…

Operation WITHIMMG:

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