Facts About Swine Flu
The other names of Swine Flu are Pig Flu or H1N1 flu.
Swine flu is the name for the influenza (H1N1) virus that affects pigs (swine).
There are three categories of the virus – A, B and C. The first two are considered stable. However, category C is considered dangerous, as the patient in this case needs ventilator support immediately.
Initially, people who caught it had direct contact with pigs.
H1N1 was first detected in April 2009 in a 10-year-old girl in California in US.
Since then, people have continued to get sick from swine flu in different parts of the globe.
It was declared a global pandemic in June 2009 by the World Health Organization (WHO) and was finally over in August 2010.
How Can You Contract Flu?
Like other seasonal flu, when people suffering from this disease cough or sneeze, they spray tiny drops of the virus into the air. If you come in contact with these drops (via air or touching the contaminated surface), you can contract this flu.
The virus can start showing symptoms a day later or after as many as 7 days. Kids can be contagious for as long as 10 days.
A person can’t catch swine flu by eating bacon, ham, or any other pork product. However, always make sure that it’s cooked thoroughly and handled carefully.
H1N1 causes a respiratory illness and is very contagious.
Like other seasonal flu, symptoms of H1N1 may include: fever, bodyache, loss of appetite, cough, sore throat, headache, fatigueness, runny nose, irritated eyes, vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea.
Generally, seasonal flu affects senior people over the age of 65 badly. However, as per reports, senior people remain least affected from this disease. Reports say swine flu has killed people mostly under the age of 65.
Swine Flu is not dangerous for a healthy person.
However, pregnant women and people suffering from a chronic illness such as asthma, diabetes, emphysema, or a heart condition should see doctor right away.
For diagnosis, the doctor takes a swab from the patient’s nose and/or throat within the first four to five days of sickness. These sometimes may not tell you the exact kind of flu.
To definitively diagnose and classify the strain of influenza, the doctor may send your specimen to a specialised hospital or state laboratory for analysis.
Tips to Stay Safe
Stay away from infected people
Always cover your nose and mouth, if a person in front of you is sneezing or coughing
If you are sick or have any flu-like symptoms, stay home. Do not go to school or work.
Besides, whenever you cough or sneeze, you should always keep your hand on the face or cover your face. This will help prevent germs from spreading.
Use a flu mask when you are in closed spaces
Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly
Carry a hand sanitiser with you; appy it when you shake hands with someone or touch the door’s handle, keyboard or someone’s table
Wash your fruits and vegetables with water thoroughly
Avoid going to crowded places. Wear flu mask if you are in the crowd
Visit doctor if you develop symptoms of swine flu
Tamiflu is the tablet that is generally prescribed for the treatment, however, it should be taken only on the advice of the doctor.
Get shots of annual flu vaccine