Swine Flu - What You Should Know?

Swine flu, which is otherwise called as H1N1 flu and it is called by the name swine because earlier, people who caught this fever had direct contact with pigs. However, this changed several years later when a new virus emerged for spreading this flu among people, even when they do not have any contact with pigs. In the year 2009, this flu spread very quickly around the world and so the World Health Organization called it a pandemic. Since then many people got this flu.

Even though, this fever is not as scary as it was considered earlier, still it is important to keep yourself protected against this fever. It can cause serious health issues in some people like seasonal flu. You can get the best protection from this fever with the help of getting a flu vaccine every year.

What causes swine flu?

This is a contagious fever and like seasonal flu it also spreads from one person to another. When people with this flu sneeze or cough, tiny drops of the virus gets into the air and when you get in contact with these drops or touch the surface that was recently touched by an infected person, you will also get this flu. Even though, the name reads as swine flu, you cannot get this flu when you eat ham, bacon or other related products.

Symptoms of swine flu:

People with this fever will become contagious a day before they even experience the symptoms and they will be sick for 7 days and in the case of kids, they will remain contagious for 10 days. The symptoms of this debilitating fever are the same as normal seasonal flu and they are:

• Fatigue

• Chills

• Headache

• Body ache

• Runny or stuffy nose

• Sore throat

• Fever

• Cough

When untreated, this flu can lead to different complications like pneumonia and even respiratory failure. It can worsen in the condition of patients with asthma and diabetes. If you have symptoms like confusion, dizziness, abdominal pain and vomiting along with flu or other symptoms mentioned above, it is better to immediately seek medical help.

Tests for diagnosing H1N1 flu:

Generally, it will be hard to tell whether you have a seasonal flu or H1N1 flu. The reason is the similarity of symptoms. However, people with swine flu will be more likely to throw up and feel nauseous as compared to people with seasonal flu. So, to identify whether you have this flu, a lab test will be recommended.

Who are at higher risk?

People coming under the following groups are known to be at higher risk of getting swine flu and they are:

• Kids of less than 5 years age

• Elders of more than 65 years of age

• Carrying women

• People working nursing homes and hospitals

• People with suppressed immune system

Prevention is better than cure:

To stay protected you can get the swine flu vaccination. This vaccine can be taken either as nasal spray or as shot. Apart from taking vaccination, it is recommended that you should follow a hygienic lifestyle. It is better to keep away from sick people and do not touch your eyes, nose and mouth. Wash your hand thoroughly for several times before touching any food.

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