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1 year ago Health , healthy

Swine Influenza| Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

Swine flu is a respiratory disease caused by the viruses that particularly infect the respiratory tract of the pigs. It results in nasal secretions, dry cough, decreased appetite and the list goes endlessly! The symptoms of swine flu in pigs are very much similar to those caused by human flu in humans. In most cases, humans developed swine flu infections when they were closely related with pigs. The disease is spread among pigs through direct or indirect contact, and also from pigs that are infected but do not show symptoms. To prevent pigs from this contagious diseases, pigs worldwide are vaccinated.

Is swine flu contagious?

The swine influenza virus usually comes from HINI type. The other types include H1N2, H3N1, H3N2. It is important that the virus is a combination of flu genes from birds, human flu & swine.

There is a common misconception that swine flu is developed from eating cooked pork products. This is definitely not! It is spread through either ingestion or inhalation of droplets through sneezing or coughing from people who have already been victims of swine flu. The newest swine influenza that has caused swine flu is the A H2N3v. In this “v” means the variant which means originally it infected only pigs but now it has begun to infect even humans.

The incubation period for swine flu is normally 1 to 4 days with the average being 2 days. In some cases. The incubation period may last for 7 days in both adults and children. The contagious period begins one day ahead before symptoms arise in the individual and usually lasts for 6 to 7 days. In people with weak immune systems, the contagious period may last even longer for 10 to 14 days.

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SYMPTOMS OF SWINE FLU:

The symptoms of swine flu are similar to other influenza infections. It includes:

These symptoms last for about a week or even longer if the person suffers severe infection. The methods of managing these symptoms are similar to the regular flu. Give your body a sound sleep and good rest this enables the immune system to fight against the viruses. Hydrate yourself every now and then. Drink plenty of water, soups and other juices that can provide a lot of nutrients to your body.

A vaccination has been invented to fight swine flu. Originally, it was treated as pandemic diseases. Now, it has changed to seasonal flu. People above 10 years of age require only one shot of this vaccination. Adults & children with egg allergy & severe asthma may have an adverse reaction to this vaccination. There are special medical treatments to help you cope with the reactions of this vaccination.

DIAGNOSE & TREATMENT:

There are a variety of viruses that cause swine flu. A diagnose may be done by taking a sample from your body. A sample is taken by swabbing your nose or throat. This swab is further treated by various genetic & laboratory techniques. Mostly swine flu is diagnosed by noting a series of symptoms.

Most people with swine flu recover soon even without the aid of medications. In very rare& severe cases, they may have to go in for medications. The 2 main treatments are adamantanes and medications that inhibit the influenza neuraminidase protein. The two antiviral drugs recommended for treating swine flu are oseltamivir & Zanamivir. The viruses can develop resistance to these drugs so these are usually referred to people who are at high complications and are unable to fight the disease on their own. Other people who are healthy and are still suffering from swine flu are capable of fighting the viruses on their own.

RISK FACTORS:

Some people are at increased risk of being affected by swine flu. It includes:

  • Adults above 65 years of age  
  • children below 5 years of age
  • People with chronic disease
  • Pregnant women
  • People with weakened immune system
  • Teens receiving long-term aspirin therapy

PREVENTING SWINE FLU:

One best way to prevent swine flu is to take the yearly vaccination. Apart from this, there is some measure which we can adapt to keep ourselves healthy and free from swine flu.

  • Wash hands frequently with soaps & sanitizer.
  • The virus can survive on the surface of tables, telephones, etc. At these times the virus remains inactive. You may touch these palaces and unknowingly keep the hand in your mouth or nose which paves way for the virus to entire your body and become significantly active.
  • If you are sick it is better to stay at home rather than going to school or office for work
  • Avoid going to places with large gatherings when swine flu is in season.

HOME REMEDIES TO PREVENT SWINE FLU:

There is no single step to cure the disease. Hence, you can take many steps at home to prevent swine flu and also to reduce the symptoms when you get to come in contact with the virus. Here are some steps:

  • Having sound sleep
  • Exercising regularly
  • Wash your hands often with soap or sanitizer
  • Manage stress levels
  • Keep yourself hydrated
  • Eat a balanced & healthy diet
  • Refrain from touching places that may have viruses
  • Stay away from people who are sick
  • Avoid going to crowded places

HOW TO REDUCE THE SPREAD OF VIRUSES?

If at all you are infected with the virus, then it is necessary that you follow these steps to avoid the spread of the infection.

  • Avoid going to school or workplace
  • Limit your contact with other people
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue while sneezing or coughing.
  • Dispose of the used tissue immediately
  • Wash hands and face regularly
  • Keep the touched places clean and free from infections

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