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Swine Flu – Beware Of Its Recent Outbreak!

By Dr. Nikita Toshi +2 more

Influenza viruses are of various types – H1N1 (swine flu virus) and H3N2 virus are some subtypes of Influenza A virus. These viruses can lead to varying degrees of respiratory infections ranging from mild Flu to severe and life-threatening pneumonia, bronchitis, acute respiratory distress syndrome and even death.

Swine Flu - Be Aware Of Its Recent Outbreak! - PharmEasy

While cases of H1N1 influenza are again on rise in some parts of India. Hospitals report a mix of flu cases, and other respiratory infections.

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 virus 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. 

Although outbreaks occur Today, the virus is under control, but people can and do still get very sick from H1N1. It’s important to get your yearly flu shot, which can protect you from H1N1 and other strains of the flu.

Dr. M.G. Kartheeka, MBBS, MD

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:

  • Coughing
  • Sore throat
  • Fever and chills
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Body aches and headaches
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Fatigue or persistent exhaustion
  • Diarrhoea
  • Red or 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. 

Experiencing Flu-like symptoms – What Next?

In India, a larger percentage of people are complaining of persistent cough, fever, weakness, body aches, running nose and sneezing. While the changing weather can also trigger allergies, there are various respiratory viruses circulating around.

Children usually tend to get high-grade fever with Swine flu, the infection usually is mild and self-limiting, but pneumonia and respiratory failure may happen in severe cases which are not treated on time, with specific antiviral drugs.

Dr. Ashish Bajaj – M.B.B.S, M.D.

If you feel unwell or experience any of the above symptoms-

  1. Isolate yourself, use masks and follow distancing so that you do not spread the infection to others.
  2. Consult a doctor without delay (follow the treatment advised).
  3. Never self medicate
  4. Take plenty of healthy fluids (soups, coconut water, warm water etc.).
  5. Eat well (opt for easy-to-digest food and eat in small but frequent meals).
  6. Do monitor your temperature, pulse and Oxygen saturation (SpO2).

Is there a diagnostic test for swine flu?

Doctors can advise you on treatment based on your clinical signs and symptoms. When needed, you may be prescribed some routine blood tests, ultrasound of the abdomen, CT Chest etc., to assess your health and recovery.

Confirmation of the Swine flu virus can be done by-

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 six months old, vaccines are available in the form of nasal sprays.

Other preventive measures may include:

  1. Washing your hands frequently and thoroughly using liquid soap or sanitiser
  2. Wearing a mask while travelling or even indoors when meeting outsiders.
  3. Avoiding crowded or public places. 

Stay aware of symptoms and follow the necessary precautions. Avoid gatherings and public places as much as possible. If diagnosed with swine flu, you should stay at home until the symptoms of swine flu subside. 

Also Read: Caution Aftercare: What to Avoid After Receiving Your Flu Shot

Disclaimer: The above information has been prepared by a qualified medical professional and may not represent the practices followed universally. The suggestions listed in this article constitute relatively common advice given to patients and since every patient is different, you are advised to consult your physician, if in doubt, before acting upon this information. Lupin Limited has only facilitated the distribution of this information to you in the interest of patient education and welfare.

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