The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has said that the first human case of swine flu strain H1N2, (very similar to what has been circulating in pigs) has been detected.

But what is the difference between swine flu and normal flu?

Here are some of the symptoms outlined and why it’s important for those who have been advised to, should get vaccinated against swine flu and normal flu.

What is the difference between swine flu and normal flu?

The NHS says: "Swine flu is a respiratory disease caused by a new strain of flu virus. The seasonal flu vaccines that are already available don’t protect against swine flu, so a new flu vaccine has been developed.

It adds: “For most people, swine flu is mild. It comes on quickly and generally lasts for around a week.

“It causes fever, tiredness, a cough and a sore throat. Other symptoms can include a headache, aching muscles, chills, sneezing, a runny nose, loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhoea.

“Some people are more likely to become seriously ill with swine flu, including pregnant women. This is why it is important to have the vaccine.”

Swine flu is usually caused by three subtypes – H1N1, H1N2 and H3N2. They occasionally infect humans, usually after direct or indirect exposure to pigs or contaminated environments.

The strain which caused the 2009 pandemic – influenza A H1N1(pdm09) – now circulates in humans seasonally and is different from the viruses currently circulating in pigs today.

Oxford Mail: Have you ever had swine flu?Have you ever had swine flu? (Image: Getty)

What are the symptoms of normal flu?

Symptoms of normal flu can come on “very quick” according to the NHS.

This can include:

  • a sudden high temperature
  • an aching body
  • feeling tired or exhausted
  • a dry cough
  • a sore throat
  • a headache
  • difficulty sleeping
  • loss of appetite
  • diarrhoea or tummy pain
  • feeling sick and being sick

The health experts add: “The symptoms are similar for children, but they can also get pain in their ear and appear less active.”

Although flu will normally get better on its own with rest, sleep, keeping warm and drinking plenty of water, it’s important to note you must see your GP if you are worried about someone’s health (including babies and children).

You must also ask for an urgent GP appointment or get help from NHS 111 for those over 65 and who have long-term medical conditions or weakened immune systems.