Swine Flu

Category: Education

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Swine Flu – Causes and Precautions


WHAT IS SWINE FLU ? Swine Influenza (swine flu) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza viruses (H1N1 subtype) that causes regular outbreaks in pigs. People do not normally get swine flu, but human infections can and do happen


SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS The symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhoea and vomiting associated with swine flu. In the past, severe illness (pneumonia and respiratory failure) and deaths have been reported with swine flu infection in people. Like seasonal flu, swine flu may cause a worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions.

Common symptoms : 

Common symptoms Fever (greater than 100°F or 37.8°C) Sore throat Cough Stuffy nose Chills Headache and body aches Fatigue The symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu in humans and may include


HOW DOES SWINE FLU SPREAD ? Spread of this particular strain of swine influenza A (H1N1) virus is thought to be happening in the same way that seasonal flu spreads. Flu viruses are spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing of people with influenza. Sometimes people may become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose


HOW CAN SOMEONE WITH THE FLU INFECT SOMEONE ELSE ? Infected people may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 7 or more days after becoming sick. That means that you may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick.

WHO guidelines on Swine Flu - What can I do? : 

WHO guidelines on Swine Flu - What can I do? 1. What can I do to protect myself from catching influenza A(H1N1)? The main route of transmission of the new influenza A(H1N1) virus seems to be similar to seasonal influenza, via droplets that are expelled by speaking, sneezing or coughing. You can prevent getting infected by avoiding close contact with people who show influenza-like symptoms (trying to maintain a distance of about 1 metre if possible) and taking the following measures: Avoid touching your mouth and nose; Clean hands thoroughly with soap and water, or cleanse them with an alcohol-based hand rub on a regular basis (especially if touching the mouth and nose, or surfaces that are potentially contaminated); Avoid close contact with people who might be ill; Reduce the time spent in crowded settings if possible; Improve airflow in your living space by opening windows; Practice good health habits including adequate sleep, eating nutritious food, and keeping physically active

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2. What about using a mask? What does WHO recommend? If you are not sick you do not have to wear a mask. If you are caring for a sick person, you can wear a mask when you are in close contact with the ill person and dispose of it immediately after contact, and cleanse your hands thoroughly afterwards. A person should seek medical care if they experience shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, or if a fever continues more than three days. For parents with a young child who is ill, seek medical care if a child has fast or labored breathing, continuing fever or convulsions (seizures).


WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO KEEP FROM SPREADING THE VIRUS THROUGH COUGHING OR SNEEZING ? If you are sick, limit your contact with other people as much as possible. Do not go to work, stay at home or in your hotel room. Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. Put your used tissue in the waste basket. Cover your cough or sneeze if you do not have a mask. Then, clean your hands, and do so every time you cough or sneeze.


WHAT DRUGS ARE AVAILABLE FOR TREATMENT ? Antiviral drugs for seasonal influenza are available in some countries and effectively prevent and treat the illness. There are two classes of such medicines, 1) Adamantanes (amantadine and remantadine), and 2) Inhibitors of influenza neuraminidase (oseltamiviror i.e Tamiflu and zanamivir). NOTE – Individuals should not buy medicines to prevent or fight this new influenza without a prescription, and they should not buy anti-viral over the Internet.

Common queries : 

Common queries Should I go to work if I have the flu but am feeling OK? No. Whether you have influenza A(H1N1) or a seasonal influenza, you should stay home and away from work through the duration of your symptoms. This is a precaution that can protect your work colleagues and others. Can I travel? If you are feeling unwell or have symptoms of influenza, you should not travel. If you have any doubts about your health, you should check with your health care provider. Preventive Measure Hand Hygiene is one of the most important activity and it helps arrest the infection. Hence high traffic zones like schools, offices, malls, multiplexes…should ideally provide good hand hygiene facilities and help arrest the infection.


HEALTH TIPS RECAP Avoid close contact With sick people. Keep safe distance Stay home when you are sick If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands Cover your mouth and nose Cover mouth and nose with tissue when coughing or sneezing Clean your hands Frequent hand washing will protect you from germs Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth germs often spread when a person touches something that is Contaminated and then touches his or her eyes, nose or mouth Seek immediate medical attention if you develop influenza-like symptoms. (High Fever, body pain, coughing and red nose)

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