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Title : Swine Flu Previous topic PreviousNext Next topic

Introduction
Swine flu is a type of virus. It's named for a virus that infects mainly pigs. It normally does not infect people, but human infections can and do happen. The virus is contagious and can spread from human to human .In the recent past, most human cases of swine influenza have been in people who were in close contact with pigs, such as farmers. In the current outbreak the virus has been spread by person-to-person contact.
. The current swine influenza A (H1N1) virus has components of pig and bird influenza viruses in it, so the humans don't have any immunity to it. That makes it more likely to become a pandemic virus (have the ability to cause a global outbreak) if it can easily spread from person-to-person
How the flu virus spreads(causes)
The swine flu virus is spread in exactly the same way as ordinary colds and flu.
A flu virus is made up of tiny particles that can be spread through the droplets that come out of the nose and mouth when someone coughs or sneezes.
If someone coughs or sneezes and they do not cover it, those droplets can spread about one metre (3ft). If you are very close to the person you might breathe them in.
Or, if someone coughs or sneezes into their hand, those droplets and the virus within them are easily transferred to surfaces that the person touches.
Everyday items at home and in public places may have traces of the virus, such as door handles, the TV remote control, hand rails and computer keyboards. Viruses can survive for several hours on these surfaces.
If you touch these surfaces and touch your face, the virus can enter your system, and you can become infected
Why it can spread quickly
Evidence from previous pandemics suggests that one person will infect about two others, and that influenza spreads particularly rapidly in closed communities such as schools or residential homes.
People are most infectious soon after they develop symptoms, although they can spread the virus for up to five days after the start of symptoms (for children this is seven days).
Symptoms
he symptoms of swine flu are broadly the same as those of ordinary flu, but may be more severe and cause more serious complications.
The typical symptoms are: 
·       sudden fever, and
·       sudden cough.
Other symptoms may include: 
·       headache,
·       tiredness,
·       chills,
·       aching muscles,
·       limb or joint pain,
·       diarrhoea or stomach upset,
·       sore throat,
·       runny nose,
·       sneezing, and
·       loss of appetite.
 
 
 
 
How is swine flu different from seasonal flu or bird flu?
Bird flu, also known as avian flu, is influenza that, as its name suggests, is usually confined to birds. However, like swine flu, it can also sometimes be caught by people and by pigs.
If swine flu or bird flu do spread in people, it can be very serious and can cause death.
A pandemic occurs when a new flu virus appears in the human population and spreads from person to person worldwide. It is likely that such a virus will be caused by a bird or animal virus mixing with the human virus.
It is expected that an outbreak of pandemic flu will cause more illness and many more deaths than ordinary flu.
Prevention
The measures that can be taken to prevent spread of this particular swine flu are –
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. You can also use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Stay home from work or school if you are sick.
  • Consult a doctor immediately when in doubt about your symptoms.
 
Pandemic
The virus was first identified in Mexico in April 2009. It has since become a pandemic, which means it has spread around the globe. It has spread quickly because it is a new type of flu virus that few, if any, people have full resistance to.
Flu pandemics are a natural event that occurs from time to time. Last century, there were flu pandemics in 1918, 1957 and 1968, when millions of people died across the world.
In most cases the virus has proved relatively mild. However, around the world more than 1,700 people have died and it is not yet clear how big a risk the virus is. For this reason, and because all viruses can mutate to become more potent (stronger), scientists are saying we need to be careful.
High-risk groups
Some people are more at risk of complications if they catch swine flu, and need to start taking antiviral as soon as it is confirmed that they have the illness. Doctors may advise some high-risk patients to take antiviral before they have symptoms, if someone close to them has swine flu.
It is already known that people are particularly at risk if they have:
  • chronic (long-term) lung disease,
  • chronic heart disease,
  • chronic kidney disease,
  • chronic liver disease,
  • chronic neurological disease (neurological disorders include motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease),
  • immunosuppression (whether caused by disease or treatment), or
  • Diabetes mellitus.
Also at risk are:
  • patients who have had drug treatment for asthma in the past three years,
  • pregnant women,
  • people aged 65 and over, and
  • Children under five.
 
Infectious Period
Persons with swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection should be considered potentially contagious for up to 7 days following illness onset. Persons who continue to be ill longer than 7 days after illness onset should be considered potentially contagious until symptoms have resolved. Children, especially younger children, might potentially be contagious for longer periods. The duration of infectiousness might vary by swine influenza A (H1N1) virus strain. Non-hospitalized ill persons who are a confirmed or suspected case of swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection are recommended to stay at home (voluntary isolation) for at least the first 7 days after illness onset except to seek medical care.
Will a face mask protect me from getting the swine flu, and are their differences in face masks?
Information on the effectiveness of facemasks and respirators for the control of influenza in community settings is extremely limited. Thus, it is difficult to assess their potential effectiveness in controlling swine influenza A (H1N1) virus transmission in these settings.
Whenever possible, rather than relying on the use of facemasks or respirators, close contact with people who might be ill and being in crowded settings should be avoided.
  1. Facemasks should be considered for use by individuals who enter crowded settings, both to protect their nose and mouth from other people's coughs and to reduce the wearers' likelihood of coughing on others; the time spent in crowded settings should be as short as possible.
  2. Respirators should be considered for use by individuals for whom close contact with an infectious person is unavoidable. This can include selected individuals who must care for a sick person (e.g., family member with a respiratory infection) at home.
Home Remedies
·         Without giving in to the swine flu panic and creating a stockpile of Tamiflu and N-95 masks at home and enriching pharma companies, there are a number of other measures you can take to ensure that the virus is not able to get you, irrespective of which part of the world you are in.


Here are some easy steps you can take to tackle a flu virus of any kind, including swine flu. And, if you have been infected by H1N1, visiting a hospital and staying in solitary confinement is a must.
Build your immunity system strong.
 

 Herbal Treatment.  

1.Have five duly washed leaves of Tulsi  everyday in the morning. Tulsi has a large number of therapeutic properties. It keeps throat and lungs clear and helps in infections by way of strengthening your immunity.

2. Take a one-foot long branch of giloi, add five to six leaves of Tulsi and boil in water for 15-20 minutes or long enough to allow the water to extract its properties. Add black pepper and sendha (salt used during religious fasts), rock or black salt, or Misri (crystalised sugar like lumps to make it sweet) according to taste. Let it cool a bit and drink this kadha (concoction) while still warm. It will work wonders for your immunity. If giloi  plant is not available, get processed giloi powder from Hamdard or others, and concoct a similar drink once a day.

3. A small piece of camphor (kapoor) approximately the size of a tablet should be taken once or twice a month. It can be swallowed with water by adults while children can take it along with mashed potatoes or banana because they will find it difficult to have it without any aides. Please remember camphor is not to be taken every day, but only once each season, or once a month.

4. Garlic has amazing power to build the immunity system. So take two pods of raw garlic first thing in the morning. To be swallowed daily with lukewarm water.

5. A glass of hot or lukewarm milk with a small measure of haldi (turmeric) can be taken every night.

6. Aloe vera (gwarpatha) too is a commonly available plant. Its thick and long, cactus-like leaves have an odourless gel. A teaspoon gel taken with water daily can work wonders for not only your skin and joint pains, but also boost immunity.

7. Do Pranayam daily and go for morning jog/walk regularly to keep your throat and lungs in good condition and body in fine fettle. Even in small measures, it will work wonders for your body’s resistance against all such diseases which attack the nose, throat and lungs, besides keeping you fit.

8. Have citrus fruits, particularly Vitamin C rich Amla (Indian gooseberry) juice.

Last but not the least, wash your hands frequently every day with soap and warm water for 15-20 seconds; especially before meals, or each time after touching a surface that you suspect could be contaminated with flu virus such as a door handle or a knob/handle, especially if you have returned from a public place or used public transport. Alcohol-based hand cleaners should be kept handy at all times and used until you can get soap and warm water.

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