Swine Flu

This is a viral illness caused by H1N1 flu virus. Like any other type of flu (common cold), this illness is featured by fever, cough, soreness in throat, running nose.

The patient may also get headache and feel tired or weak. Some cases present with stomach upsets including loose stools or vomiting.

Since these symptoms resemble those of normal flu, it is difficult to make out which case of flu is swine flu.

Therefore, it is recommended that every case of flu may see a doctor to rule out the presence of swine variety.

Flu viruses spread through droplet infections. When a person having this illness coughs or sneezes, he releases plenty of these viruses in the surrounding air.

These bugs may be inhaled by a normal individual, who may then catch the illness.

Common Modes of Transmission

  • Direct droplet infection when a sufferer coughs or sneezes near you.
  • Hand contact with an infected individual. This happens so because, hands are often contaminated. There is a tendency to wipe the nose or contain cough in your hands.
  • Flu virus may be present over inanimate objects being used by the sufferer. It may linger over table tops, books, toys, utensils, phones or linens. If you get in touch with any of these objects, you may get infected.

Who Is More Prone to Catch Swine Flu?

Immuno compromised individuals, as after cancer therapy, those who are taking steroids or are HIV infected.

Individuals with poor nutritional status, elderly (above 65 years of age), children below 2 years, pregnant ladies.

All individuals having some underlying respiratory problem, like emphysema, asthma, tuberculosis etc.. However, no one is immune enough to be called safe.

Prevention

  • Avoiding contact is the most important thing you can do. Stay around 6 feet away from anybody who is sneezing or coughing. Alternatively, you may use a face mask to cover your nose and mouth. These masks are easily available in any chemist shop.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water every every hand contact. If not possible, you may use a alcohol based hand sanitizer.
  • Clean your surroundings with any household disinfectant regularly. Rub it on your phone, table tops, doorknobs and all other susceptible surfaces.
  • Avoid going to crowded places, where there are more chances of contracting the infection. Stay confined to your home, as far as possible, during flu outbreaks.
  • If you have any chronic respiratory problem, like asthma, you need to be more cautious. Avoid all crowded places.
  • If you have flu contain your coughs and sneezes in a handkerchief and also encourage others to do so.
  • All flu patients drink a lot of water to keep yourself well hydrated. This would reduce the severity of all types of flu illnesses.

Treatment

Patients suffering from swine flu need prompt treatment. Shift to a hospital setup immediately.

Take care you are drinking enough water and maintaining your hydration. This would reduce the severity or all flu illnesses.

Antiviral drugs oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza) are the drugs of choice. If given during early phase of infection, they may reduce the severity and duration of illness.

Centers for disease control and development recommends flu vaccination for all people older than 6 months of age. This vaccine is available as a nasal spray or as an injection.

All flu vaccines do not have the H1N1 component. Check in your hospital if this component is covered in their flu vaccine.

Flu Patients Should Seek Medical Treatment Immediately if:

  1. You become breathless or start breathing faster.
  2. Your skin color changes to bluish or grayish shades
  3. You are not able to take enough water
  4. Persistent vomitting
  5. Severe headache
  6. High fever
  7. Feeling very irritable
  8. Flu symptoms get alright but return again with fever and cough