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Everything you need to know about swine flu

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Swine flu is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by one of many Influenza A viruses.

Most commonly, swine flu is of the H1N1 influenza subtype. However, swine flu viruses can sometimes come from other subtypes, such as H1N2, H3N1, and H3N2.

The 2009 outbreak of swine flu that infected humans was of the H1N1 subtype. It is important to note that, although it developed in swine, the 2009 pandemic virus was not completely derived from swine. The virus contains a combination of flu genes from bird, swine, and human flu types.

Fast facts on swine flu:

Here are some key points about swine flu.

• Swine flu was normally of the H1N1 influenza subtype. However, since 2017, the H3N2 subtype has become the dominant strain.

• The most common way to catch swine flu is through contact with an infected person.

• There is currently a vaccine for swine flu that is included with the standard seasonal flu shots.

• Symptoms of swine flu include coughs, chills, and aches, similar to seasonal flu.

Symptoms

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The symptoms of swine flu in humans are quite similar to those of regular flu, and include:

Less commonly , a person with swine flu may experience vomiting and diarrhea

Symptoms can be managed with similar treatments to regular flu. However, a doctor should examine the patient for confirmation of swine flu and advise how to treat individual symptoms.



DIFFERENCES BETWEEN COLD, SWINE FLU and SEASONAL FLU SYMPTOMS

SYMPTOM COLD SWINE FLU SEASONAL FLU
Fever Fever is rare with a cold. Fever is usually present with H1N1 in up to 80% of all flu cases. Fever is common with seasonal flu.
Coughing A hacking, productive (mucous-producing) cough is often present with a cold. A non-productive (non mucous producing) cough is usually present with H1N1 (sometimes referred to as “dry cough”). A dry and hacking cough is often present with the seasonal flu.
Aches Slight body aches and pains can be part of a cold. Severe aches and pains are common with H1N1. Moderate body aches are common with the seasonal flu.
Stuffy Nose Stuffy nose is commonly present with a cold and typically resolves spontaneously within a week. Stuffy nose is NOT commonly present with H1N1. A runny nose is commonly present with the seasonal flu.
Chills Chills are uncommon with a cold. 60% of people who have H1N1 experience chills. Chills are mild to moderate with the seasonal flu.
Tiredness Tiredness is fairly mild with a cold. Tiredness is moderate to severe with H1N1. Tiredness is moderate and more likely referred to as a lack of energy with the seasonal flu.
Sneezing Sneezing is commonly present with a cold. Sneezing is not common with H1N1. Sneezing is common with the seasonal flu.
Sudden Cold symptoms tend to H1N1 has a rapid Symptoms tend to
Symptoms develop over a few days. onset within 3-6 hours. H1N1 hits hard and includes sudden symptoms like high fever, aches and pains. Symptoms usually last 4-7 days, depending on the individual. Diarrhea is common. develop over a few days and include flushed face, loss of appetite, dizziness and/or vomiting/nausea. Symptoms usually last 4-7 days, depending on the individual. Diarrhea is common.
Headache A headache is fairly uncommon with a cold. A headache is very common with H1N1 and present in 80% of cases. A headache is fairly common with the seasonal flu.
Sore Throat Sore throat is commonly present with a cold. Sore throat is not commonly present with H1N1. Sore throat is commonly present with the seasonal flu.
Chest Discomfort Chest discomfort is mild to moderate with a cold. Chest discomfort is often severe with H1N1. Chest discomfort is moderate with the seasonal flu. If it turns severe, seek medical attention immediately.

Vaccine

A vaccine is available to protect humans against the H1N1 strain of swine flu. This was introduced following a pandemic of swine flu in 2009 and 2010.

People who are over 10 years old only require one shot of the vaccine. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends two shots for children under this age, to be taken four weeks apart.

Treatment

There are some drugs available that can effectively treat swine flu.

The two main treatments are adamantanes, including amantadine and rimantadine, and medications that inhibit the influenza neuraminidase protein, such as oseltamivir and zanamivir.

However, most people with swine influenza with mild symptoms recover completely without the need for medical attention. Universal precautions, hand hygiene , cough etiquette using an N-95/99 mask helps in preventing transmission.

Causes

There are only a few causes of swine flu in humans. They are:

Contact with infected pigs: This is the most common way of catching swine flu. Any contact with infected pigs makes transmission more likely.

Contact with infected humans: Another way of catching swine flu, especially for those in close contact with an infected person.

Risk factors

Some people are more at risk of catching swine flu than others; including:
• people aged over 65 years
• children under 5 years
• people with chronic diseases like Diabetes
• pregnant women
• teenagers receiving long-term Aspirin therapy
• anyone with a compromised immune system

Diagnosis

Swine flu is mostly diagnosed through noting the symptoms.

There are confirmatory tests available done on throat swan or nasal/respiratory secretions in specialized laboratories.

However, in a similar way to seasonal flu, symptoms are often mild and self-resolve. Most healthy people do not require testing for swine flu and specific medication for swine flu is given on the clinician’s discretion.

The medication works best if begun within 48 hours of the onset of the symptoms. Some people with severe symptoms or an underlying chronic disease or compromised immune system may require hospitalisation.

Dr. Sfurti Mann is a passionate, and caring physician completely dedicated to the health and well being of her patients.Her philosophy of health care is early detection, prevention, and early intervention in order to prevent serious multi-system illnesses.


Contacts

Ananta Health Clinic , Shop no – R-2 / 151 , 1st Floor. M3M cosmopolitan , Sector 66, Gurugram, Haryana 122102 .
7579029984
MON – SAT: 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM

W Pratiksha Hospital Golf Course Ext Rd, Sushant Lok II, Sector 56, Gurugram, Haryana 122011.
7579029984/ 8199001170
MON– SAT: 9:30Am to 2PM