Swine flu (H1N1 flu)

Swine flu (H1N1 flu)

Overview

Have you heard of swine flu? It’s the scientific term used for describing influenza in pigs. Occasionally, pigs can transmit viruses to people; especially to hog farmers and veterinarians. However, it seldom happens that a person infected with swine flu passes the infection to others. It was back in 2009 that the scientists recognized a specific strain of flu virus known as H1N1. It’s a combination of viruses from pigs, birds, and humans. During the 2009-10 flu season the virus caused respiratory infections in human which can commonly termed as swine flu. The virus is now known as H1N1v. The V stands for variants and indicates that virus normally circulates in animals but has been detected in humans.

Symptoms

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Body aches
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Watery red eyes
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

When to see a doctor

It’s not required to see a doctor if you are healthy and develop flu signs or symptoms such as fever, cough, or body aches. However, if you have symptoms of flu and you are pregnant or have a chronic disease such as asthma, diabetes, or a cardiac condition, you need to see the doctor in Alamo City as you have a higher risk of complications.

Causes

The influenza viruses infect the cells which line your nose, lungs, and throat. They enter your body when you inhale contaminated droplets or transfer a live virus from contaminated surface to your mouth, eyes, or nose. You can’t catch it from eating pork.

Risk factors

If you have lived or travelled to an area where people infected by swine flu reside, you may get exposed to the virus. Swine farmers and veterinarians are at a higher risk of exposure to swine flu as they work near pigs.

Complications

  • Respiratory failure
  • Pneumonia
  • Neurological signs/ symptoms- confusion or seizures

Prevention

  • Stay at home if you are sick
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently
  • Contain your sneeze and coughs
  • Avoid contact from crowd.

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