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Swine flu


 SWINE FLU/H1N1 INFLUENZA- Details –                                                                                                                                         H1N1 flu commonly known as swine flu is caused by H1N1 strain of influenza virus.H1N1 is a kind of influenza A virus and H1N1 is one of the several flu virus that can cause tha seasonal flu.There is no difference in the symptoms of H1N1 flu and seasonal flu.Following are the important things regarding this virus

Lifestyle remedies
This virus can infect both pigs and humans. It is a respiratory disease due to  influenza A virus.
In  today’s  date  science  has  made  so  much  advancement, but  still  mankind  has to  struggle  so  much  against  certain  virus.
A virus -that is  so  small, that it  is  not  possible  to  visualize  it  on  the  light microscope  also.
It  is  on  the  boundary  of  living  and  non -living  beings.
The influenza A variant subtype H1N1 is the common  cause of swine flu in humans. It has similar genetic features to the H1N1 subtype of influenza virus that is  identified in pigs.
Other main subtypes  of this  virus known  cause influenza in pigs include H1N2 and H3N2 These  H1N2 and H3N2 also  cause infections  in  humans.
Swine flu-2009
H1N1-outbreak-Widespread  occurence of  H1N1 occurred  in  2009 .
Since 2009, the H1N1 virus has become one of the common viruses that circulate each flu season. Immunity to the virus has  developed  in  many  of the  people  now. Due  to  the  immunity developed people  are  now  less  worried  about  this  virus. But  still  if  any  individual  has  fever  not  responding  to  the  usual  antipyretics  and  antibiotics  ,he  should  consult  a  qualified and experienced MD General Medicine who  will  clinically  and  by  investigations try to  rule  out  swine  flu. Or  if  the  diagnosis  of  swine flu  is made  earlier, then  as  in  case  of  other  diseases, treatment  becomes  much  easier and  undue  complications  are  also  avoided.
Any time a virus affects humans from a different source, it is a concern especially  if  a new virus  affects  human  beings, no  vaccine  is  available  regards  this  virus and  no  medications have  come  up  in  today’s  date regards  this  virus. In  such  cases  emphasis  should  always  be  on  prevention.  Scientists cannot always tell how a new virus will affect people, or how it will change over time.
Symptoms of swine flu-
The symptoms of this virus are almost similar to regular flu like –
body aches
sore throat
vomiting and diarrhea, less commonly
In severe ,neglected  cases, there may be respiratory failure and death, but this is rare as  educated, health conscious people take  opinion  from qualified , experienced physician (  MD General Medicine ) doctor as  soon  as  they  notice  that  fever  is  not  coming  under control  in  2 days of  routine  treatment. Those  people  who  keep  on neglecting their  health, in  them these things can  happen. Not  being  aware of  health  is  seen  nowadays  in  even  highly educated class, as well as  in  low  socioeconomic class.  Most people’s symptoms are relatively mild.High risk of  catching  swine flu  is  therein  young children, older people, pregnant women, and those with a compromised immune system .
Mode of transmission of  swine flu -The main route of swine flu virus transmission between humans is air borne transmission when someone infected with  swine flu virus sneezes or coughs, and the virus enters one of the potential mucous surfaces of  the  airways or when an individual touched something infected with the virus and subsequently touch their nose ,transmission  can  occur.                                                                                                                                                                                                             Prevention of swine flu–   Prevention of spread of swine flu is by washing their hands regularly with soap and water.If soap and water are  not available  then  use  of  hand  sanitizer  is  advised  before  taking  food.N95 mask is advisable.
Swine Flu Vaccine
A vaccine  has been  developed to protect humans from H1N1 after the outbreak of 2009 . After  that  vaccination against H1N1 has been advised  by  doctors.
First  it  is  estimated  which flu  virus  strains are likely to increase during the flu season, which rises up to  high in winter and  according to it  vaccines are  prepared  for the  types  that are most likely to occur.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend an annual flu shot for everyone aged 6 months or older, barring certain rare exceptions. A doctor can advise on  needs of the  specific  individual.
Treatment for swine flu-
Most of  the  patients recover from H1N1 without extensive medical line  of  treatment.
In some cases,  the  physician( MD General Medicine) has to  prescribe an antiviral medication to  shorten the duration of symptoms and decrease their severity.
A patient may require these drugs urgently if –
he  has severe symptoms or complications
he  is admitted in the hospital
he  is having  a high risk of complications
Lifestyle remedies
Following things should be done to  manage symptoms  of this virus and to  prevent  further infection-
using over-the-counter remedies
washing hands regularly with soap and water
getting plenty of sleep
exercising often
managing stress
drinking lots of fuids
eating a balanced diet
avoiding being close to someone with flu symptoms
not touching surfaces that may have the virus
Anyone who has flu should quarantine himself  while symptoms last,or till  a  duration  advised  by  the  physician (MD General Medicine) doctor .This  prevents  spread  to  other  people.
Treatment of  swine flu -consists of antivirals
rest, analgesics and fluids. In some cases antiviral medication and IV fluids may be required.
Menthol and Rest
Antiviral drug, Cough medicine, Decongestant, Analgesic and Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug
Supportive care
Fluid replacement
Causes for this viral infection-
H1N1 is a flu strain that can occur in people and spread alongside seasonal flu viruses. An individual can acquire H1N1 if he is in close contact with a  patient of  H1N1.
Individuals infected with  with this virus may have a risk of contracting new types of flu or other diseases which  are acquired  from animals. Diseases  acquired from  animals are  called zoonotic diseases.
Risk factors for swine flu-
Some people have a higher risk of flu, including H1N1, or having severe symptoms or complications.
Following are  such  kind  of  individuals –
people aged over 65 years
children under 5 years
people with conditions, such as diabetes, HIV, or cancer
pregnant women
Individuals with chronic lung disease, such as asthma
Individuals with chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
Individuals with a compromised immune system
children with neurologic conditions
Diagnosis –
If it  is  suspected that a person may have H1N1 or another type of flu ,opinion  should  be  taken  from  physician (MD General Medicine ) who  will  advise  -The rapid influenza diagnostic test  which can help identify swine flu. However, this test can vary in effectiveness and may show a negative result when a certain influenza virus strain is present.
More accurate tests are available in specialist laboratories.
Rapid flu test is  advised and the  treatment is  the  same  as flu irrespective  of the test outcome.
Prevention of swine flu-
If a person has flu, the following tips can help prevent further spread:
Avoiding contact with other people.
To  quarantine  oneself  while experiencing flu symptoms.
Covering the mouth with a tissue while coughing or sneezing. If no tissue is available   cover the mouth and nose with your hand or crooked arm.
Put your used tissues in a biomedical  waste  bag and  dispose  it  properly .
Wash your hands and face regularly.
Keep all surfaces that you touch clean.
Following  all doctors’ instructions.
Vaccination should be done against  swine  flu.
Those who come  in  contact  with patients infected with this virus should do  the  following things –
follow all health and safety precautions when handling animals
ensure that swine have their relevant vaccinations
call a veternary  doctor  if an animal appears sick
avoid contact with pigs if they or other animals appear ill
Can I catch this virus from pork?
Mode of spread of swine flu through  air  through  the  droplets  in the air  and on surfaces. It is a  respiratory  disease. So  if  pork is  properly  cooked  then  it is  not  possible  to  spread  by  eating  pork.
Could there be another  pandemic of this virus?
Chances  of  H1N1 are  very  less  now  as people have developed some degree of immunity.
But  pandemic can occur if any novel virus moves from animals to humans.
a crowd of people that could be spreading a pandemic
Swine  flu pandemic-
A pandemic can occur when a type of influenza virus, known as the influenza A virus, mutates suddenly,
This change can result in what the body sees as a completely new virus. The major and abrupt change from a recognizable virus to a new one is called an antigenic shift.
On the surface of the virus are HA proteins and NA proteins. If one or both of these change, a new influenza A virus subtype can result. Influenza viruses have an H figure and an N figure. Swine flu, for example, is also known as H1N1, while avian flu has the subtype H5N1.
If a flu subtype gains the ability to spread rapidly between people, a pandemic may result.
After the pandemic emerges and spreads, humans develop some immunity over time. The virus subtype may then circulate among humans for several years, causing occasional flu epidemics.
Various organizations around the world, such as the WHO and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), monitor the behavior and movement of influenza viruses.
Their findings help health authorities develop strategies for controlling the spread and impact of influenza
The WHO have a six-phaseTrusted Source program for identifying potential swine flu pandemics:
Phase 1: No local health authorities have reported that an influenza virus circulating among animals can cause disease in humans.
Phase 2: An animal influenza virus circulating in domesticated or wild animals has caused infection in humans. The WHO consider this a potential pandemic threat.
Phase 3: An animal or human-animal influenza virus has caused disease in small clusters of people. However, it has not resulted in human-to-human transmission that is rapid enough to sustain community-level outbreaks.
Phase 4: The WHO verify that human-to-human transmission of an animal or human-animal influenza virus is now able to sustain community-level outbreaks.
Phase 5: The same virus has caused sustained community-level outbreaks in two or more countries within a single WHO region.
Phase 6: In addition to the phase 5 criteria, the same virus has caused sustained community-level outbreaks in at least one other country in a different WHO region.
Post-peak period: Levels of pandemic influenza in most countries with adequate surveillance have dropped below peak levels.
Post-pandemic period: Levels of influenza activity have returned to the usual levels of seasonal swine flu influenza in most countries with adequate surveillance.
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