All of you might have heard about “swine flu” but some of you out there might not have a good idea about what exactly is it. Well, swine flu is the virus that is responsible for causing flu like symptoms in humans. Although, for the first time the virus was isolated from pigs however, after genetic changes it started infecting humans and it is known as H1N1 virus in humans. In 2009, H1N1 influenza a virus caused an outbreak in Mexico followed by an outbreak in United States of America. The pandemic that ended in 2010 raised a global concern. Here is the list of all you need to know about swine flu.
How can you catch the virus?
You need to know that H1N1 virus is quite contagious and it is spread in the same way as the common cold virus does. If you are standing close enough to a person with the swine flu, you may get infected if he or she splutters droplets while coughing, sneezing or talking to you. Similarly, if you touch doorknobs or other surfaces or objects infected with the virus, you may catch the virus.
How it feels like to have swine flu?
In swine flu, you get a temperature of 100 degrees (F) or above along with cough, runny or stuffy nose, headache with or without fatigue, body aches, sore throat, chills and occasionally diarrhoea, vomiting and nausea. If the virus remains in the body, you may get pneumonia as a secondary bacterial infection. In extreme cases, respiratory failure, seizures and death may occur due to persistent lung infection. You can pass the virus for about 7-10 days after becoming infected with it.
What should be done for prevention of virus spread?
- The best way to protect you from the virus is to get vaccinated. The vaccine is available as an injection or as a nasal spray and is highly recommended for children under above 6 months, people above 50 years of age and for immune-compromised individuals.
- Frequently wash your hands with a good soap and water and try to sanitize your hands with an alcohol based sanitizer.
- Maintain good hygiene and avoid people who are already sick with the virus.
- There should only be a single person for the care of the one infected with swine flu.
- Wear face masks and cover your mouth whenever you are in public place.
- Sneeze or cough in tissue paper.
How will you be treated if you get the virus?
Neuraminidase inhibitors namely oseltamivir or zanamivir are given if you get the virus. For treating the secondary bacterial infection, antibiotics are being given. For pain relief, over the counter pain killers like paracetamol are given.
How to boost your immunity naturally?
Probiotics are healthy bacteria that keep our intestinal tract free from harmful germs. They are quite effective if taken as a supplement daily and they help in boosting immunity. Yogurt is a rich source of probiotics and a daily dose of seven ounce yogurt is known to be quite effective in boosting our natural immunity. Therefore, if we take yogurt daily, it can help us in fighting off infections such as swine flu. These are all you need to know about swine flu.
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