Swine flu which is also known as H1N1 flu is a respiratory disease caused by influenza viruses that infect the respiratory tract of pigs. It is named swine flu because people in the past who caught it, had direct contact with pigs. It originated in pigs, but is spread primarily from person to person. The most common way for a human to catch swine flu is through contact with a pig. However, It is entirely safe to eat properly cooked pork products.
Risk factors of swine flu
Some people are more likely to become seriously ill if they are infected with swine flu. These groups include:
adults over age 65
children under 5 years old
young adults under age 19 who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy
people with compromised immune systems (due to a disease such as AIDS)
people with chronic illnesses such as asthma, heart disease, diabetes or neuromuscular disease
Symptoms of swine flu
Symptoms of swine flu resembles to those of regular influenza.
· Fever ( 100 F or greater) with chills
· Nasal secretions
· Sore throat
· Runny or stuffy nose
· Body aches
· Nausea and vomiting
How do people get it?
People are caught by swine flu as the seasonal flu. When people suffering from swine flu cough or sneeze, viruses come into the air along with tiny droplets. If someone come in contact with these droplets, touch the surface such as doorknob or sink where the drops landed or touch something an infected person has recently touched, he/she can easily get H1N1 flu.
Although swine flu is not terrifying as it seemed few years ago, it is still crucial to protect yourself from getting it. Swine flu is very infectious, spread rapidly from one person to another through air, bodily fluid and salivation particles. The following measures can help to prevent swine flu and limit its spread.
Contain your coughs and sneezes. Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough. To avoid contaminating your hands, cough or sneeze into a tissue or the inner crook of your elbow.
Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently. Use soap and water, or if they're unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Stay home if you're sick. If you have swine flu (H1N1 flu), you are likely to spread it to others. Staying home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone will be a wise decision.
Avoid contact. Stay away from crowds if possible. And if you're at high risk of complications from the flu — for example, you're younger than 5 or you're 65 or older, you're pregnant, or you have a chronic medical condition such as asthma — consider avoiding swine barns at seasonal fairs and elsewhere.
Reduce exposure within your household. If a member of your household has swine flu, designate only one household member to be responsible for the ill person's personal care.