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Swine Flu and Its Consequences Bookmark and Share  
  Author Name : Harleena Singh Posted on : August-7-2009 Total Hits: 2280
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Swine flu is primarily a disease in pigs and is normally of the H1N1 subtype. The virus that is currently spreading amongst people is now by and large referred to as swine flu, though its origin is still being investigated upon. The swine flu that has spread rapidly among the humans is a version of this virus. The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that the H1N1 flu pandemic has been the fastest moving pandemic ever and there is no point in counting every case now. WHO vaccine Chief Paule Keny told Reuters that at least 50 governments have placed orders for vaccines against the new H1N1 strain or negotiating with the drug makers.


Swine flu is circulating and just as influenza did in 1957; it’s dominating the mixture of viruses in the southern hemisphere’s flu season that is going on now. In Mexico, where the pandemic had started, officials closed the government offices and schools for around two weeks in April and May. The experts are expecting the flu to spread in the northern hemisphere and WHO predicted one thirds of the world’s population, which is nearly two billion people would eventually be infected with swine flu.

 Let us start by learning a little about the diseases-


Symptoms of Swine Flu-

 Though the symptoms have proved mild, but the small numbers may develop more serious illness, where as those with other health problems like a lung or heart diseases are at a greater risk.

 The Flu symptoms can include-


  • Running nose
  • Headache
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Aching joints and muscles
  • Sore throat
  • Lack of appetite
  • Chills and gastro- intestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting and diarrhea

Most of the cases in India have been mild and patients have started recovering within a week. People with swine flu should be considered contagious for a week following the onset of the disease. Children, more so the younger children maybe contagious for a longer time period. A person with a swine flu infection is considered a confirmed case having an acute respiratory illness, where the laboratory confirms the infection by conducting one or more of the following tests-


  • Viral culture
  • Real – time RT-PCR

 Precaution and Prevention for Swine Flu

The flu virus spreads from one person to another through droplets that are created while sneezing or coughing by the person who is infected with H1N1. The infected person will be able to infect another from the first day right through the week or more days after becoming sick. So, you need to stay away from people who display signs of flu.

You can take simple precautions by following these steps-


  • Do not touch your nose and mouth with your hands, sanitize and wash your hands frequently. Alcohol based cleansers are also good and effective. 
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Avoid contact with sick people, and those with respiratory infections.
  • Avoid the spread of germs by touching your mouth, nose and eyes.
  • If you are sick, stay away from school or home.

The Indian Government is taking various steps to prevent the outbreak of the H1N1 virus in India. They are sharing the information with the public with the help of the media. The Indian Government has launched a massive campaign of mass media to educate and inform the people on the do’s and don’ts regarding the swine flu. Their main aim is to detect the early cases amongst the passengers coming from the affected countries either by ship, road or air.

The first death case of the country was of Rida Shaikh, 14 years from Pune as she died on 3rd August ’09, because the swine flu was not diagnosed on time. Till Tuesday, 4th August, India had reported 574 cases of swine flu, of which 470 have already been discharged from hospitals. Children aged between 10-14 years are proving to be most vulnerable to swine flu, as per a health ministry analysis. The maximum numbers of swine flu cases have been reported from Delhi followed by Maharashtra and the count is expected to go up in the next six months as per the officials. India may have its own H1N1 vaccine by September, as per official sources.

Remember the virus can be anywhere, a remote control, a door knob, computer, phone but you need not get paranoid or panicky and stop using those things. You don’t have to use facemasks nor wear gloves all the time. A small task can prevent you from infection, simple soap and water can reduce the chance of infection by 30%. Just wash your hands frequently and make a conscious effort to stop touching your face.

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