This is a respiratory illness which is caused by influenza germs. These viruses contaminate the respiratory tract of pigs and can result in deaths as well if not treated in time. It is also known as H1N1 flu. It is known as swine flu because the initial cases were of people who had direct contact with pigs. A new virus emerged which was not found in pigs and spread among people who had no contact with pigs. Swine flu was declared a pandemic in 2009 as it was spreading very fast across the globe and is now considered as a human flu virus. The yearly flu vaccine can help prevent this infection. At the early stages this was considered very scary, however, the threat has reduced a lot now. H1N1 flu is highly contagious and can spread very quickly from one person to another. Even the sneeze of an infected person contains thousands of germs which can spread through the air.
When this first emerged it was common to children 5 years and older and even young adults which is uncommon in most flu virus infection.
As we already know swine flu is caused by a strain of virus which affects only pigs. The transmission of this disease is mostly person to person. This disease can spread via saliva and mucus particles as well. Apart from that, it can also be spread by coughing, sneezing and touching a virus covered surface.
The symptoms of swine flu are similar to other regular influenzas. Some of the common symptoms are fever, coughing, chills, sore throat, stuffy nose, running nose, body aches, diarrhea, nausea, fatigue, and vomiting. If you have any of these symptoms then contact the doctor immediately and try to stay away from people around you.
The diagnosis of this disease can be done by a doctor through the symptoms. You can also be prescribed certain tests. The doctor can take a sampling fluid from your body and can be used to identify the virus.
Most cases of swine flu can be treated without medicines. If you are at a risk of developing medical complications from the flu then consult a doctor immediately. One should focus on relieving the symptoms and to prevent the spread of the H1N1 virus to other people. There are some antiviral drugs also available in the market such as Tamiflu and Relenza, which are recommended for treating the swine flu. People who are healthy can fight the infection on their own, hence the use of medicines should be limited. If you have the symptoms of swine flu then you should get plenty of rest and help the immune system fight of the virus. One should drink plenty of water and other liquids to prevent dehydration. Drink plenty of juices to help replenish the body of the lost nutrients. You can also take over the counter medicines to get relief from a headache and sore throat.
The best thing to do is to take your yearly swine flu vaccination and wash the hands frequently.
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