The H1N1 Virus also is known as Swine Flu, over the past decade has spread over a wide geographical area. In June 2009 WHO declared Swine Flu as a pandemic. The H1N1 virus acquired a global presence after its early outbreak in North America in April 2009, spreading rapidly around the world. Over time it has gained the status of a “regular human virus.” It is an extract from a strain of the influenza virus. This disease can be deadly and highly contagious. The spread of this disease is fast and in some instances uncontrollable.
The virus spreads from person to person and can be easily transmitted through contaminated air. The infection present in the air can infect hands and various surfaces. When healthy people touch these contaminated surfaces, they can contract the virus.
Who are at risk?
A variety of the population can be easily affected by this disease. The people who are at maximum risk are:
. The elderly above the age of 65 years Pregnant women
. Children below the age of five
. People suffering from severe medical conditions and other chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart and lung diseases, etc.
It is difficult to differentiate between Swine Flu and common/ seasonal flu since both exhibit similar symptoms. However one of the primary symptoms that separate the H1N1 virus from the seasonal flu is an increased degree of nausea and vomiting.
The other symptoms of Swine Flu are:
· Heavy cold and running nose, fever, coughing, and sore throat.
· Sputum mixed with blood.
· Body ache and lethargy.
It is advisable to seek immediate medical attention if discoloration of skin is observed including severe dehydration, consistent high fever, breathlessness, chest pain, dizziness, and continuous vomiting.
Diagnosis & Treatment:-
Get yourself diagnosed through
· A throat swab test.
· Take a blood test to check if your blood comprises the H1N1 antibodies.
Swine flu is treated primarily for its symptoms. In less complicated cases the focus is on treating the patients symptomatically and keeping them in isolation. Consultation with a doctor is recommended in more complex cases of swine flu. Give your body adequate rest so that your body’s immune system can fight the infection, drink sufficient amount of fluids, and take painkillers to manage symptoms such as a sore throat, body ache, headache, etc.
Frequent washing of hands with soap or by using a sanitizer,
. Avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes after touching various surfaces,
. Avoid visiting public places if you have Swine flu,
. Use a face mask,
. Vaccinate yourself,
. Cover your mouth while coughing and sneezing, and Stay at home if you are sick
Duration of the Flu:-
The H1N1 virus infection in less severe cases last from one to four days. People who are at high risk and children below the age of five may remain affected for as long as 10 to 14 days. Seasonal changes such as lowering of temperatures or the cold climate can also increase the cases of Swine Flu. H1N1 virus can prove to be fatal if proper precautions are not strictly followed.