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Tips one should know to prevent Swine Flu

Tips one should know to prevent Swine Flu


Article contributed by subscriber: Ms. Kalyani Sachdeva, Medical Student, Vizag

 

Swine flu virus, continues to spread panic across the country with deaths being reported from several states, including Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

 

Swine flu is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by one of many Influenza A viruses (H1N1) that started in pigs. Swine flu was first recognized in the 1919 pandemic and still circulates as a seasonal flu virus. The symptoms of swine flu are similar to normal flu - fever, cough, sore throat, chills, weakness, loss of appetite, body aches, difficulty sleeping, etc.

 

Swine flu cases increase in the winter season because the H1N1 influenza virus is prone to appear when the temperatures dip. Since the disease spreads through air and not via a vector, as in dengue, transmission is more rapid in this case.

 

Hence, children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with chronic medical conditions such as Pulmonary diseases, Neurologic diseases, Cardiovascular diseases, Renal diseases, Hepatic diseases, Hematological disorders, Metabolic disorders, Immunosuppressed individuals Morbid obesity should take extra precautions as they are at high risk from severe infection.

 

Steps that may prevent swine flu as well as limit its spread may include:

 

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough to avoid contamination.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth as this can result in contracting the disease.
  • Patients suffering from swine flu should stay home and avoid contact.
  • High-risk patients should be more vigilant and visit doctors at the earliest.
  • One should wear a surgical mask if there is an outbreak of swine flu in the locality.
  • In general stay fit, drink lots of water, and eat fruits.

According to the World Health Organization, annual vaccination is the best and most effective solution for combating swine flu infections.

 

Follow the above guidelines diligently to prevent swine flu!