WHAT IS SWINE FLU?
Swine flu is also called Hog flu or pig flu. It is an air borne disease which can be transmitted from one person to other directly through air.
The virus responsible for swine flu is influenza virus. There are various types of influenza virus present. Among them swine flu is caused by ‘H1N1’ virus.
Officially Till date it is not proved that swine flu is caused only by pigs.
The influenza virus is grouped in ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ categories. Among these Influenza ‘A’ and ‘C’ are seen in pigs and it seems like the virus responsible for swine flu is related to Influenza ‘A’ group looking at the structure. This virus may undergo some mutations and may infect the human beings.
Swine flu virus is called ‘Quadruple reassortant’ virus because the genes seen in this virus are linked to some of the North American, European pigs and some with Europe and Asian bird’s genes and few with human beings.
SWINE FLU SYMPTOMS -
- Throat infection
- Running nose
- Redness of eyes and nose
- Stomach pain,
- Sore throat
PREVENTION OF SWINE FLU-
Presently for the prevention of swine flu there is a vaccine available for pigs. But for human beings the swine flu vaccine is still in the developing state. However as the ‘H1N1’ antigen nature is recognized it is expected that soon the human vaccine will also be discovered.
- People should cover there face with their handkerchief while sneezing and coughing.
- The hands should be properly washed after dealing with their cough or sneeze.
- The handkerchief which was used to cover up their face should not be used by a second person and it should be properly disposed.
- Those who are suffering from cold should stay away from others. Even if they attain their good health they should maintain distance from others at least for the next 24 hours.
- Proper hygiene should be maintained in houses.
- It is not necessary to wash the infected person clothes separately. However it can be done to maintain cleanliness.
- FOMILE TRANSMISSION- While using public toilets there is a possibility or there is a chance of getting infected by touching the handles, nabs. Because of this the hands should be properly washed by hand sanitizers.
- Wearing of masks in public places is not very much useful but it may increase awareness of the former person.
SWINE FLU TREATMENT -
Just like an ordinary flu swine flu is also treated in the same manner. In India the treatment is available free of cost which can be done by Antiviral drugs. But these drugs should be used in a proper manner. The drugs are same which are used for Tami flu like oseltamivir can be used. But these drugs should be taken only after the advice of Doctor. Once the Doctor prescribes the medicines then it can be obtained from Public Health Network of the Government for free of cost.
Do remember that antiviral will not cure the swine flu completely but they do lessen the symptoms of swine flu.
The pregnant women are at risk of getting infected especially in the second and third trimester. They can take the antiviral drugs on the advice of a Doctor.
Relenza is an inhaled antiviral drug which can treat flu without reaching the developing fetus
Relenza is not advised for babies who are under the age of one for the treatment of swine flue.