Cold, Flu or H1N1?
By Charles Bassett, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Another child in the metro has been hospitalized with the H1N1 flu.
Her family says she was first misdiagnosed but is now on the road to recovery. So, how can you tell if you have H1N1 or just the common cold?
Unless you are in the medical profession it may be hard to tell one from the other, but there are some distinct differences. Kiana Wise, 13, is recovering since being diagnosed with the H1N1 flu last week.
Kiana has a history of asthma and has had pneumonia three times in the last three years, but her family says her first doctor didn't check for H1N1. A second doctor did and they were stunned with the diagnosis.
"I don't know anything about this and with her condition any type of sickness can really hurt her, especially her lungs," Vincent Wise, Kiana's father, said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control Oklahoma is one of several states in the nation with widespread H1N1.
Dr. James White, the Chief Medical Officer with Integris Health Systems, says 97 percent of the flu cases this year are H1N1. But there is no need to do widespread office screening tests because the tests are usually wrong half the time.
"If you have influenza-like symptoms, influenza-like illness, but negative influenza tests, you still probably have influenza," Dr. White said.
If someone is hospitalized, the doctor says more definitive tests are then done.
But if you get sick, White says there are ways to determine if you have the flu versus or something else. For example, if it's just allergies there is no fever, but you will have a runny nose, congestion, sneezing, and watery itchy eyes.
Cold symptoms are similar, but with a low-grade fever and muscle aches and fatigue. Flu symptoms are similar symptoms.
"An influenza illness is more severe," Dr. White said. "The fever will be higher and the symptoms will be more profound, particularly the achiness or the fatigue."
Kiana is hoping to be back on her feet again soon. Kiana's father is being treated for the flu even though he's showing no symptoms. Her mother and twin brother are sick and are home being treated.