Swine Influenza (swine flu – H1N1) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza viruses that causes regular outbreaks in pigs.* People do not normally get swine flu, but human infections can and do happen.* Swine flu viruses have been reported to spread from person-to-person, but in the past, this transmission was limited and not sustained beyond three people. However, in March 2009, some people in Mexico and America were found infected H1N1 flu virus which could spread among people. Till the end of April, H1N1 flu virus infection cases were found in more than 10 countries covering four continents, consequently, WHO announced the alarm of Phase 5
In order to help you know more about H1N1 flu virus and protect yourselves from it, I've collected following information for your reference
How is it spread?
Humans with direct exposure to pigs are those most commonly infected with H1N1 flu virus. Human-to-human spread of H1N1 flu virus viruses have been documented; however, it's not known how easily the spread occurs. Just as the common flu is passed along, swine flu is thought to be spread by coughing, sneezing, or touching something that has the live virus on it.
If infected, a person may be able to infect another person one day before symptoms develop; therefore, a person is able to pass the flu on before they know they are sick. Infected individuals may spread the virus for seven or more days after becoming sick.
Those with H1N1 flu virus should be considered potentially contagious as long as they are showing symptoms, and up to seven days or longer from the onset of their illness. Children might be contagious for longer periods of time.
What are the signs and symptoms of H1N1 flu virus in people?
The symptoms of H1N1 flu virus in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with H1N1 flu virus. In the past, severe illness (pneumonia and respiratory failure) and deaths have been reported with H1N1 flu virus infection in people. Like seasonal flu, H1N1 flu virus may cause a worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions.
What are some of the best ways for prevention?
- Avoid close contact with people who appear unwell and who have fever and cough
Are there medicines to treat H1N1 flu virus?
- Avoid shaking hands, be polite and explain the current circumstances.
- Keep hands away from eyes, nose, and mouth unless they have been washed and are clean.
- Wash your hands with soap and water frequently and thoroughly.
- Practice good health habits, eat nutritious food, and keep physically active.
- Seek immediate medical attention if you develop any symptoms of influenza-like illness.
Research indicates that there are some medicines to treat this flu. We suggest you go to the World Health Organization (WHO) web site www.who.int
for more information on this topic and/or consult with your local doctor.
Would a recent vaccination for the seasonal flu help protect against H1N1 flu virus?
The WHO reports that those individuals who received the seasonal flu vaccine do not have added protection against the H1N1 flu virus. The human H1N1 viruses are very different from the H1N1 viruses responsible for the recent outbreaks of H1N1 flu virus. Therefore, a seasonal flu vaccine would not protect against the H1N1 flu virus.
Pls. take good care of yourself, your family and friends.