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Swine Flu

Overview

Swine Flu, also known as Pig Influenza originated in pigs but usually spreads from one person to another. The virus primarily infects the respiratory system of the pigs leading to cough, decreased appetite, secretions in the nasal area and lethargic behavior which gets transmitted to humans. H1N1 is Hem Agglutinin Type 1 and Neuraminidase type 1.H1N2, H3N1 and H3N2 are the less common types of the influenza virus. The virus is infectious, and one can easily see the symptoms. It is the subtype of influenza that became pandemic in 2009.

Primarily the respiratory tract is affected by the virus leading to other severe symptoms. The course of the infection can be detected with the help of nasal and throat swabs. These are later inspected using various laboratory techniques. If left unattended, H1N1 might lead to critical ailments such as Pneumonia, Dehydration, Multi Organ Failure and sometimes death of the patient. Swine influenza is transmitted via inhalation of droplets containing virus from people sneezing or coughing. The myth says that the infection is spread by eating cooked pork products. The incubation period varies from two days to seven days according to the age and sex of the patient.

Swine flu symptoms resemble that of influenza or common flu. H1N1 symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Sore Throat
  • Cough
  • Body aches
  • Headache
  • Chills
 

A person catches Swine Flu the same way as seasonal flu. The cause of swine flu is Influenza A Type virus - H1N1. The tiny drops of virus from the mouth of the person who is coughing go into the air. If someone encounters the tiny drops, they can catch H1N1 Swine Flu. In a nutshell, there are two main Swine Flu causes:

  • Contact with Infected Humans: It is a risky but a less common way of catching swine flu. If a person encounters another infected person, the chances of them getting swine flu increase. Thus, close contact must be avoided completely.
  • Contact with Infected Pigs: It is the most common way of catching swine flu. The transmission is more likely if someone lives in vicinity of infected pigs.
 

To reduce the severity of the symptoms, antiviral drugs like Tamiflu and Zanamivir are prescribed by the doctors. Resistance to these drugs is common by the flu virus. People with high risks of complications need these drugs the most. Some people prefer home remedies and bring change in their lifestyle to get rid of swine flu. There is no single cure, but steps can be taken to prevent swine flu.  Swine flu treatment includes:

People with diabetes, HIV, pregnancy, infants, or geriatric population, people with low immunity/on immunosuppressant drugs are more likely to have severe form of the disease. However even in normal adult human being it may advance to severe stage causing multi-organ failure.  Any patient having common flu symptoms for longer periods or worsening symptoms must visit to family physician.

  • Drinking Liquids
  • Exercising
  • Balanced Diet
  • Washing hands with soap
  • Refraining from touching surfaces infected with virus
  • Pain Relievers
 

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