• A. Food poisoning
  • B. Flu ✓
  • C. Insufficient milk production
  • D. Breast cancer


Mastitis is an inflammation of the breast tissue that can cause pain, swelling, warmth, and redness in the affected area. The early symptoms of mastitis are most similar to those of the flu, as both conditions can present with fever, chills, body aches, fatigue, and malaise. However, mastitis specifically affects the breast tissue and may also be accompanied by localized symptoms such as a lump in the breast, nipple discharge, or skin changes.

In other words, Mastitis is an inflammatory condition of the breast tissue, usually characterized by breast pain, swelling, and warmth. It is common among breastfeeding women. On the other hand, the flu, or influenza, is a viral infection that affects various organs in the body, including the respiratory system. Both conditions share some early symptoms that can make it challenging to distinguish between them at first.

The early symptoms of mastitis include:

  1. Breast pain, tenderness, or soreness: Mastitis can cause discomfort or pain in one or both breasts. The pain may be constant or come and go and can feel like a burning sensation. This symptom is also common in the flu due to muscle aches and pains throughout the body.
  2. Swelling: Mastitis can cause breast swelling, making it difficult to fit into clothing or bras comfortably. Swelling is also a common symptom of the flu due to fluid accumulation in various parts of the body.
  3. Redness: The affected breast may appear red or have a rash on its surface. This symptom is not always present in mastitis but can occur in some cases. Redness is also a common symptom of the flu due to vasodilation caused by the virus.
  4. Fever: A fever (temperature above 100°F or 37.8°C) is a common symptom of both mastitis and the flu. In mastitis, it can be caused by an infection, while in the flu, it’s a result of the viral infection itself.
  5. Chills and sweats: Both conditions can cause chills and sweats as part of their early symptoms due to changes in body temperature regulation caused by inflammation or viral infection respectively.
  6. Fatigue: Feeling tired or weak is another common symptom shared by both mastitis and the flu due to the energy demands placed on the body during an immune response or viral infection respectively.
  7. Loss of appetite: Some women with mastitis may experience loss of appetite due to feeling unwell or discomfort in their breasts, while this symptom is also common in people with the flu due to decreased energy levels and nausea caused by viral infection.
  8. Difficulty nursing: In some cases, women with mastitis may find it difficult to nurse from the affected breast due to discomfort or engorgement caused by milk stasis resulting from blocked milk ducts; however, this symptom is not always present in all cases of mastitis and may not be present at all during early stages when symptoms are more similar to those of the flu than distinctly different from them based on available evidence from reputable sources.