Swine Flu : Symptoms, Precautions and Treatment

The onslaught of swine flu in the winters in the states like Rajasthan has again prompted people to know in details about the symptoms, precautions and proper treatment of the flu. The most complex thing about this flu is that its symptoms are like seasonal influenza that is most common in winter season in the northern part of India. But on the other hand the early reports and analysis indicates that the mortality rate of swine flu is lower than that of seasonal influenza and that is certainly good news.

What is Swine Flu?

Swine flu is a contagious respiratory infection caused by influenza A virus also known as H1N1 virus. This new virus contains genetic material from few other viruses like swine, avian and human viruses. The first outbreak of swine flu was reported in Mexico in the month of April and since then the virus has spread in many other countries of the world including European and Asian countries.

Swine Flu Symptoms

Swine flu symptoms are just like any seasonal flu which include running nose, sore throat, fever, cough, body ache etc. and in some cases vomiting, diarrhea and nausea. So, in any case, the symptoms shouldn't be ignored or taken lightly. One should immediately rush to the nearest doctor.

Swine Flu Treatment

Since the symptoms of swine flu are similar to the seasonal flu, the treatment does't vary too much. A positive swine flu case can be confirmed only after the testing of patient's swab has been done using the testing kit. Doctors generally divide the patients in the 3 groups based on the symptoms. They are as follows –

Category A includes patients with simple cough and running nose
Category B includes patients with cough, sore throat along with fever
Category C includes the patients with persistent fever and other complexities like vomiting, nausea etc.

Category A patients are given the same treatment as that of a patient with a normal cough and cold. A category B patient is administered tamiflu along with other medicines. Category C patients are at critical stage and they are admitted straightaway. So it is very important to get the treatment before a person lands into category C.

H1N1 virus is sensitive to oseltamivir i.e. tamiflu or tamivir. These medicines are prescribed to the patients of swine flu but they should be taken under medical supervision only. Do not take these medicines without being asked by the doctor.

Swine flu precaution

The H1N1 virus enters the body when a person inhales contaminated droplets or transfers it from a contaminated surface. So a person should take following precautions –

- Maintain oral and personal hygiene
- Wash hands before eating anything
- Use 3 layer mask
- Avoid going in crowded places
- Use tissue paper while sneezing
- Dispose the tissue papers in the dustbin only
- Stay at least a meter away from the swine flu patient

The following types of people are at greater risk than anyone else –

- Elderly people
- People with diseases like diabetes and kidney problems
- Cancer patients
- HIV positive persons
- Pregnant women

Swine Flu can be prevented by taking proper precautions. People should take a healthy diet, drink loads of water and take ample sleep. Even if one gets infected, he or she shouldn't panic. A proper treatment at the right time will make the person hale and hearty again.


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