A recent news report published in Hyderabad stated that 43 people have tested positive for swine flu in the last two weeks. Experts claim that the number of swine flu cases is likely to surge in January. This is why the government of Telangana has urged all city hospitals to be on alert and prepare for swine flu emergencies. Read on to know more about swine flu.
Swine flu – know its causes
Swine flu is a highly contagious respiratory infection caused by the H1N1 virus. The cause of swine flu in humans is another infected person transmitting it to you. So, coming in close contact with an infected person puts you at high risk.
How does the swine flu virus spread? The virus spreads quickly from one person to another through the cough or sneeze droplets from an infected person. Even a simple cough can cause the germs to spread in the air and enter through your nose or mouth. You may also be infected with the flu virus lingering on the surface of certain objects – like a doorknob or a table – by coming in direct contact with it.
Be aware of the signs of swine flu
The signs and symptoms of swine flu are similar to those caused by regular flu. The infected person may experience the following symptoms –
- Sore throat
- Fever and chills
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Body aches and headaches
- Vomiting and nausea
- Fatigue or persistent exhaustion
- Red, watery eyes
When do the symptoms show up? The above symptoms usually show up about 1-3 days after being exposed to the H1N1 virus.
Is there a way to prevent swine flu?
Since the swine flu virus is extremely contagious, the best way to keep away from the infection is to adopt the necessary precautions. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends getting vaccinated against swine flu to prevent it. Vaccines are available in the form of injections for adults. For children who are over 6 months old, vaccines are available in the form of nasal sprays.
Other preventive measures may include –
- Washing your hands frequently and thoroughly using liquid soap or a sanitizer.
- Wearing a mask while traveling.
- Avoiding crowded or public places if you are at risk of flu complications – particularly when there is a swine flu outbreak.
You should stay at home until the symptoms of swine flu subside. Despite following the above measures if you catch the flu, consult a doctor to seek proper treatment.