The disease got its name swine flu because in the past, the people who were in direct contact with pigs were prone to the disease. This view was changed several years ago, when virus spread among people who hadn't been near pigs. It is known by several other names such as pig influenza, hog flu and pig flu .But the most common name of this disease is swine flu and H1N1 virus Flu. In 2009, people came to know about the disease and the virus H1N1 when it started spreading fast around the world, so the World Health Organization declared it a pandemic.
While swine flu isn't as scary as it seemed a few years ago, it's still important to protect ourselves from getting it. Way of Like seasonal flu, it can cause more serious health problems for some people. The best protection is to get vaccinated .with, or flu shot or flu vaccine, every year.
Swine flu is contagious, and it spreads in the same way as the seasonal flu. When people with cough or sneeze, they spray tiny drops of the virus into the air. People who come in contact with these drops or touch a surface such as a doorknob or sink that an infected person has recently touched, he or she can catch H1N1 swine flu easily.
Despite the name, we cannot catch swine flu from eating pig or any other pork product.
People who have swine flu can be contagious one day before they have any symptoms and as many as 7 days after they get sick. Kids can be contagious for as long as 10 days.
The symptoms of Swine Flu are the same as seasonal flu. These include:
Cough, Fever, Sore Throat, Runny Nose, Body Aches, Chills, Fatigue
Like seasonal flu, swine flu can lead to more serious complications, like pneumonia and respiratory failure. And it can make conditions of patients suffering from diabetes and asthma worse. If a person complaints of symptoms like shortness of breath, severe vomiting, dizziness, abdominal pain confusion one should take help of doctor immediately.
It is difficult to say whether one is having swine flu or seasonal flu, because most symptoms are the same. People with swine flu may be more likely to feel nauseous. But a lab test is the only way to confirm it.
Doctors advice the patients to take bed -rest. Patients are told to consume more and more fluid intake. Cough suppressants, and antipyretics and analgesics are given like acetaminophen, non anti-inflammatory drugs for fever. Severe cases may require intravenous hydration and other supportive measures. Antiviral agents may also be considered to treat prophylaxis.
Patients should be encouraged to stay at home, to wash their hands often, and to avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth. Patients who develop flu like illness i.e. fever with either cough or sore throat should be strongly encouraged to self-isolate in their home for 7 days after the onset of illness or at least 24 hours after the symptoms have resolved, whichever is longer.
Patients who have difficulty breathing or shortness of breath or who are believed to be severely ill should seek immediate medical attention. If the patient goes outside, he or she should wear a face mask to reduce the risk of spreading the virus in the society when coughing, sneezing, talking, or breathing. If a face mask is not available, ill persons who need to go into the community should use tissues or handkerchiefs to cover their mouth and nose while coughing.
While in home isolation, patients and other members should be given instructions, like frequent hand washing with soap and water. Use of alcohol-based hand gels containing at least 60% alcohol are recommended 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.
Recently swine flu has caused many deaths in India. Prevention is the only measure today for the healthy people to avoid infection. Since it is also said 'Prevention is better than cure."
Rashi Rana Gusain