Swine flu is a strain of influenza virus, also known as the H1N1 virus, which causes symptoms similar to regular flu. Originating from pigs, it spreads from person to person as it is highly contagious. It can be passed on through a sneeze or from surfaces like tables and doorknobs.
Symptoms of swine flu
Swine flu symptoms can be confused with those of regular influenza. Some of them are:
- Body pains
- A sore throat
- A headache
- A cough
- Nausea and vomiting
- Runny or stuffy nose
Being a primarily respiratory disease, it may also lead to other serious problems such as pneumonia, lung infection, and breathing trouble. If you already have diabetes or asthma, swine flu may aggravate the illness.
The confirmatory test for swine flu is done by testing a fluid sample from the body, which is analysed to identify the virus.
There was an outbreak of H1N1 swine flu in 2009, which was when it was first discovered in human beings. The pandemic was declared over in August 2010, but it continues to spread during the flu season like any other strain of the virus. There are other subtypes of the virus which also cause swine flu. Since 2017, the H3N2 subtype has been the dominant strain. Vaccination is available for the H1N1 strain, and people over 10 years old require only one shot while those under 10 require two.
The remedy for swine flu
Since swine flu is a highly contagious disease, the best way to tackle it is to prevent it. Preventive measures include washing hands regularly with soap, drinking liquids, not touching surfaces that may carry the virus, eating a proper diet, and following other basic hygiene principles.
If you have already been infected, prevent the spread of infection by limiting contact with other people, following doctors’ instructions, disposing of used tissues properly, covering your mouth while coughing or sneezing, and generally keeping things clean.
Some drugs are available for treatment. Two types of medication are adamantanes and medications that inhibit the influenza neuraminidase protein. However, swine flu usually does not require any attention and goes away on its own.
Keep yourself safe by maintaining hygiene at all costs. Also, keep yourself protected from sudden health crises by signing up for a health insurance policy that will keep your finances secure. Cigna TTK’s easy-EMI, easy-return policies will keep your savings intact, leaving you free to focus on recovering.