The key difference between swine flu and normal flu is that the causative agents of swine flu are the strains of influenza A virus known as H1N1, H1N2, and H3N2, while the causative agents of normal flu are the strains of influenza A, B, or C viruses.
Swine flu and normal flu are both caused by strains of influenza viruses. The influenza virus has been known to infect humans since ancient times. The most lethal past pandemic reported in 1918-1919, known as the Spanish flu, killed 2 to 20% of those infected. Other less severe pandemics include the 1957 Asian flu, the Hong Kong flu, and the most recent 2009 flu pandemic.
What is Swine Flu?
Swine flu is a flu caused by the strains of the influenza A virus known as H1N1, H1N2, and H3N2. The most recent and popular one was the global flu outbreak from 2009 to 2010. In 1918, Spanish flu was also found to be a type of swine flu. This virus (A/H1NIpdm09) was first identified in Mexico in April 2009. It became known as swine flu as the virus was thought to be originated in pigs. Swine flu-causing strains of influenza A virus lead to lung disease in pigs and cause respiratory infections in humans. The strains of the influenza A virus spreads from person to person when a person coughs or sneezes droplets into the air. People can also get the infection when they breathe in the virus. People can get the infection when they touch a contaminated surface and touch their mouth, nose, or eyes. The common symptoms may include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, and fatigue. The symptoms in babies and children are slightly different and include trouble breathing, trouble waking up, not drinking enough fluids, fever with rash, and confusion.
Moreover, swine flu can be diagnosed through physical examinations and rapid flu tests. Furthermore, treatment options for swine flu include getting swine flu vaccines, getting plenty of rest, drinking fluids, eating a light diet, staying at home, taking acetaminophen, and taking antiviral medicines such as oseltamivir and zanamivir.
What is Normal Flu?
Normal flu is caused by the strains of influenza A, B, or C viruses. The common symptoms of normal flu include fever, aching muscles, chills and sweats, headache, dry, persistent cough, shortness of breath, tiredness, weakness, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, eye pain, vomiting, and diarrhea (common in children than adults). The strains of these viruses travel through the air in droplets when someone with the infection coughs, sneezes, or talks. Other people can inhale these droplets directly or can pick up the germs from an object (telephone or computer keyboard) and later transfer them to the eyes, nose, or mouth.
Normal flu is diagnosed through physical examination and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing. Furthermore, treatment options for normal flu may include getting influenza A, B, or C viral vaccines, taking antiviral medications like oseltamivir, zanamivir, peramivir or baloxavir, drinking plenty of fluid, resting, and taking pain relievers (acetaminophen or ibuprofen).
What are the Similarities Between Swine Flu and Normal Flu?
- Swine flu and normal flu are both caused by strains of influenza viruses.
- The strains of influenza viruses that cause swine flu and normal flu show a similar mode of transmission.
- These strains belong to the family Orthomxoviridae and have RNA as genetic material.
- These diseases affect both children as well as children.
- They may have similar symptoms.
- They can be diagnosed through physical examinations.
- Moreover, they can be treated through vaccines, antiviral medications, lifestyle and home remedies.
What is the Difference Between Swine Flu and Normal Flu?
Swine flu is caused by the strains of the influenza A virus, such as H1N1, H1N2, and H3N2, while normal flu is caused by the strains of influenza A, B, or C viruses. Thus, this is the key difference between swine flu and normal flu. Furthermore, swine flu normally causes a pandemic, while normal flu does not normally cause pandemics.
The below infographic presents the differences between swine flu and normal flu in tabular form for side-by-side comparison.
Summary – Swine Flu vs Normal Flu
Swine flu and normal flu are both caused by strains of influenza viruses. They show a similar mode of transmission. Moreover, these flu types may have similar symptoms as well. However, swine flu is caused by the strains of the influenza A virus, such as H1N1, H1N2, and H3N2. In contrast, normal flu is caused by the strains of influenza A, B, or C viruses. So, this summarizes the difference between swine flu and normal flu.
1. “Swine Flu (H1N1): What Is It, Causes, Treatments & Prevention.” Cleveland Clinic.
2. “Influenza (Flu).” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.