H1N1 flu is called as Swine flu. It is known as swine flu because in the past people in direct contact with pigs were infected and more susceptible to the virus. But unfortunately the virus evolved and doesn’t need any contact whatsoever with pigs to spread amongst humans. In the year 2007, swine flu was declared a pandemic as the virus started spreading rapidly in humans all over the world. Since then though the virus has been contained to a certain extent, it still continues to threaten the human race with sudden outbursts like the ones we are experiencing currently in the regions of Delhi-NCR and Telangana. Therefore it is of prime importance to remember that Swine Flu can prove to be a deadly disease and thus the onus is on people to protect themselves from its deadly grip.
Swine Flu operates quite similarly to the seasonal Flu. It is highly contagious. When people sneeze or cough, tiny drops of the virus are sprayed in air. And when a healthy person comes in contact with these droplets, he or she can catch swine flu. Contrary to popular beliefs, one cannot catch the flu by treating oneself to ham, bacon or other products of pork.
The most common traits and symptoms of the Swine Flu can include fever, cough, sore throat, headache, chills, runny nose, severe vomiting, abdominal aches and body pains. People infected with the flu might be contagious 1 day prior any symptoms and upto 7 days post they fall sick. Swine Flu, just like seasonal flu can lead to severe complications. Like repertory failure and pneumonia. It aids and deteriorates conditions like asthma and diabetes.
By the looks of it, it is extremely hard to tell the difference between seasonal flu and swine flu. Both operate rather similarly and have the exact same symptoms. The only way to know for sure is to get a lab test done. In the test, the doctor collects a sample from one’s throat or nose.
If detected with Swine Flu, one should start medication almost instantly. Some of the drugs used to battle seasonal flu have proven to be effective against swine flu as well. Relenza and Tamiflu have successfully taken the battle to swine flu. These drugs can prevent the virus from critically infecting you and removing the disease from its roots at the same time. Antibiotics are not prescribed to fight the flu as it caused by a virus and not a bacteria.
The same flu vaccine which protects one from a seasonal flu can be used to safeguard oneself against the rapidly spreading swine flu. More important than anything else, one should actively protect himself against the virus. Remember, precaution is better than cure. Some important precautionary measures that should be religiously followed are as follows:
- Cover your mouth and nose properly while sneezing.
- Stay fit, eat a lot of fruits and drink plenty of water.
- Surgical masks should be used in an area experiencing swine flu’s outbreak.
- One should consult a doctor at the first sight of a symptom.
- If possible, one should avoid crowded places during an outbreak.
- Use disposable tissue papers instead of a handkerchief.
- Avoid touching your face, eyes, ears etc as it can aid in contracting the virus.
- Scrub and wash your hands thoroughly at regular intervals with soap, water or/and hand sanitizers.
- As far as possible, avoid contact with people who are already infected.
- Ensure that you keep yourself and your surroundings as clean as possible.
- Drinking lots of warm liquids, gargling and cleaning ones nostrils/applying salt water in nostrils have also proven very effective against swine flu.
- Consuming Tulsi leafs in addition to Dalchini and Kalimirch, can help avoiding Swine Flu.
Also it is very critical to remember that no matter what, one should not panic. Swine Flu is curable and even if infected, does not impact one’s life in the long run. Keep yourself calm, fit and relaxed and keep Swine Flu at bay.