Are Those Sniffles Allergies or H1N1 Symptoms?

05/04/2009

(Bangor, ME) – The increased attention on the H1N1 (swine) flu is coming at an interesting time in Maine. We are wrapping up our flu season, and are still seeing occasional reports of Influenza A and B in the area, while budding trees and blooming flowers are also wreaking havoc on the sinuses of Mainers across the state.

In an effort to reduce unnecessary visits to EMMC’s busy Walk-In Care Center, and Emergency Department, EMMC’s Residency director, James Jarvis, MD, is working to spread the word about the different symptoms of allergies and the flu. “Fever is the big indicating factor,” points out Dr. Jarvis. He also listed the following symptoms for each: 
 
Allergy: Flu:
  • Mild discomfort
  • Fever accompanied by any of the following symptoms:
  • Runny nose
  • Muscle Aches
  • Itchy eyes
  • Joint Pain
  • Sneezing
  • Congestion
  • Slight cough
  • Runny nose
 
  • In some cases, diarrhea and vomiting

EMMC is reminding everyone that neither allergy nor mild flu symptoms warrant a visit to Walk-In Care or the Emergency Department. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should first call their primary care provider and follow their instructions. Urgent medical care should be sought if these symptoms worsen to include difficulty breathing or chest pain, blue lips and fingers, signs of dehydration or confusion or disorientation.