“Another dies of swine flu in Delhi”, proclaims a Time of India headline on October 14th. After the disastrous bout of dengue fever, we have to deal with swine flu. Again. This city just can’t get enough of viruses it seems.
Swine flu was first widespread in India in 2009 and many people have succumbed to it since then.But fret not. There are some basic measures you can take to avoid getting this disease.Here is everything you need to know about symptoms of swine flu, its prevention and treatment and what it exactly is:
What is swine flu?
Swine flu is basically a virus named H1N1. It is called so because earlier people who contracted it were in direct contact with pigs. However, some years ago, it started spreading through humans as well.
And no, you CANNOT catch swine flu from eating bacon, ham, or any other pork product.
How does swine flu spread?
It spreads through inhalation of contaminated droplets or is transferred from a contaminated surface to the eyes, nose or mouth of a person.
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.
Prevention of swine flu:
The safest way is to take a swine flu vaccine every year (1 ml for adults and 1/2 ml for children) The immunity is effective after 10-20 days of injection. However, the vaccine expires in 11 months and hence it is advisable to get a shot every year.
There are some other simple steps you can take to avoid catching (or spreading) the virus, like:
- Cover your nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing.
- Throw the tissue paper into the dustbin after use.
- Wash your hands with antiseptic soap like Dettol often.
- Use alcohol based sanitizers when you are unable to wash hands.
- Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth after touching strangers or unknown surfaces
Symptoms of swine flu-
Most symptoms are the same as seasonal flu. They can include:
- Sore throat
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Body aches
- Blood in Sputum
Like seasonal flu, swine flu can lead to more serious complications, including pneumonia and respiratory failure. And it can make conditions like diabetes or asthma worse.
Treatment of swine flu:
First of all, visit the doctor.
Keep warm and comfy and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
You can take paracetamol or ibuprofen to lower a high temperature and relieve aches.
Antiviral medications – oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza) help relieve symptoms and reduce the risk of serious complications.
Antibiotics are taken to fight off bacterial infections such as pneumonia, which may occur as a complication of influenza
We hope that you never have to go through the above paragraphs again, and that all your queries have been answered.
Feel free to comment if you have any further questions.