Swine Flu

WHAT IS SWINE FLU?

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Swine flu (swine influenza) is a respiratory disease caused by viruses (influenza viruses) that infect the respiratory tract of pigs. Usually the virus is spread only among pigs, means pigs to pigs. Now it is known to be present in humans too. Also known as H1N1 type A influenza, swine flu is a human disease, which means the disease is spread from humans and not from pigs. So, there is no need to panic if a pig dies in your locality (natural death).

Till now, the disease has claimed more than 900 lives across India in 2015.  2015 Indian swine flu outbreak refers to a outbreak of the 2009 pandemic H1N1 virus in India, which is still ongoing as of February 2015. The state of Rajasthan is the worst affected.

Swine flu can be diagnosed only through test in a specialized laboratory by identifying the particular antigens associated with the virus type. Swine Flu is curable and does not kill if treated on time. There has been a massive spurt in cases of swine flu this year, despite the government employing safe practices all over the nation. This is why, knowing few facts about the disease might help you in dealing with this epidemic in a better way. 

Symptoms:

  • Symptoms of swine flu are similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu.
  • Early symptoms include – cough, fever, headache, sore throat, muscle pain, chills, vomiting or diarrhea.
  • if you have high fever (above 100 F) for more than two days or sudden breathlessness, contact your doctor immediately. If the fever does not go down with normal antipyretics or is back within an hour or two of administering the medicine then one needs medical attention.
  • People suffering from COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), cardiovascular conditions, metabolic disorders like diabetes and those with suppressed immune system are highly vulnerable to swine flu. Pregnant women, young children and old people are also susceptible to this disease. 

Precautions:

  • Swine flu (swine influenza) is a respiratory disease caused by viruses (influenza viruses). So consuming antibiotics will not help in curing it but only worsen the condition of person suffering from swine flu.
  • Swine flu is highly contagious, it spreads easily and quickly from one person to another. The virus is transmitted through droplets that are formed due to coughing or sneezing by a person infected with H1N1. Hence, avoid using someone else’s phones or laptops and also public toilets to prevent the spread of the virus. Do maintain a high level of personal hygiene to prevent swine flu.
  • Wear protective standard H-95 mask on your face that is  normally worn by doctors and nurses while collecting sample from infected individuals
  • Constrain family member who has been infected to one room to avoid spreading of flu to other members. While in home isolation, patients and other household members should be given infection control instructions, including frequent hand washing with soap and water. Use alcohol-based hand gels (containing at least 60% alcohol) when soap and water are not available and hands are not visibly dirty. Patients with H1N1 influenza should wear a face mask when within 6 feet of others at home.
  • Vaccination done every year might prevent you from swine flu. Currently, injectable H1N1 vaccines are available in the market – Influvac, Agrippal, Vaxigrip, Vaxiflu-S and Fluarix, which cost around Rs. 500 per dose.
  • To control movement of viruses to upper respiratory tract drink hot fluids -warm water, warm soup and other warm fluids like lemon and salt water. Gargle often. And take plenty of rest and get good sleep.
  • Tamiflu (Oseltamivir)- vaccines or oral tablets and homeopathic medicine influenzinum 200 are prescription medicines that are available in India.

Some suggested Home remedies for swine flu:

Here are some of the home remedies that will help in curing any kind of flu, including swine flu.

  • Take washed Tulsi leaves regularly in the morning. The leaves contain therapeutic elements. It keeps the lungs and the throat clear and helps in clearing the infections.
  • Take few cloves of garlic as it has powerful antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal characteristics. It significantly boosts your immune system and protects your body from various diseases such as the flu.
  • Take Vitamin C to boost immune system and increase the number of white blood cells.
  • Take a teaspoonful of Aloe Vera It is an Immune System Booster and encourages the body to heal itself naturally.
  • Try using Turmeric daily in whatever way you can as it is an anti-bacterial herb and also helps boost immunity system .
  • Take Zinc lozenges, it boosts the immune system as soon the symptoms develop.
  • Do Pranayam regularly in morning to keep your throat and lungs healthy.

Disclaimer: Please note that this article is for education purpose only. If anyone has these symptoms they must consult their doctor immediately.

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