Friday, 13 February 2015

Swine Flu:Know & Preventive Steps

Human swine flu is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a new strain of influenza virus. Symptoms of human swine flu include a fever (temperature over 38°C), cough, sore throat, aches and tiredness. Human swine flu is also known as human swine influenza, influenza A (H1N1) virus or H1N1 influenza 09.

The name ‘swine flu’ comes from a strain of the virus that is found in pigs. In 2009, a new strain of the swine flu virus that affects humans was identified. Cases of human swine flu have been confirmed in countries throughout the world including Australia. 

Despite some deaths in Victoria, the majority of cases of human swine flu have so far been mild and can be compared to the normal seasonal flu. Most people recover without any medical treatment. However, like seasonal flu, human swine flu may make underlying chronic medical conditions worse in vulnerable people. 

Seasonal flu 

The virus now circulates worldwide as one of three seasonal flu viruses. The other viruses are influenza virus B and influenza virus A/H3N2.

The symptoms of flu caused by the H1N1pdm09 virus are similar to those of other types, and include:
  • a sudden fever – a temperature of 38C (100.4F) or above
  • tiredness
  • aching muscles or joint pain
  • a headache
  • a runny or blocked nose
Most people recover within a week, even without special treatment.
However, some people are at a higher risk of complications and are recommended to have the seasonal flu jab. The 2014-15 seasonal flu jab includes protection against three types of flu virus, including H1N1pdm09.
10 Preventive Steps to keep Swine-Flu Away
They say prevention is better than cure and now that Swine Flu is spreading like Wildfire in India too, we need to come up with some proactive measures so that we are not a victim of the deadly disease. Here are 10 things you can do to protect yourself from the virus. 

1. Wash your hands frequently 

Use the antibacterial soaps to cleanse your hands. Wash them often, at least 15 seconds and rinse with running water. Use Alcohol based hand Sanitizer frequently

2. Get enough sleep 

Try to get 8 hours of good sleep every night to keep your immune system in top flu-fighting shape. 

3. Keep hydrated 

Drink 8 to10 glasses of water each day to flush toxins from your system and maintain good moisture and mucous production in your sinuses. 

4. Boost your immune system 

Keeping your body strong, nourished, and ready to fight infection is important in flu prevention. So stick with whole grains, colorful vegetables, and vitamin-rich fruits. 

5. Keep informed 

The government is taking necessary steps to prevent the pandemic and periodically release guidelines to keep the pandemic away. Please make sure to keep up to date on the information and act in a calm manner. 

6. Avoid alcohol 

Apart from being a mood depressant, alcohol is an immune suppressant that can actually decrease your resistance to viral infections like swine flu. So stay away from alcoholic drinks so that your immune system may be strong. 

7. Be physically active 

Moderate exercise can support the immune system by increasing circulation and oxygenating the body. For example brisk walking for 30-40 minutes 3-4 times a week will significantly perk up your immunity. 

8. Keep away from sick people 

Flu virus spreads when particles dispersed into the air through a cough or sneeze reach someone else's nose. So if you have to be around someone who is sick, try to stay a few feet away from them and especially, avoid physical contact. 

9. Know when to get help 

Consult your doctor if you have a cough and fever and follow their instructions, including taking medicine as prescribed. 

10. Avoid crowded areas 

Try to avoid unnecessary trips outside. Moreover, avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way. We all want a Healthy India.

Most symptoms are the same as seasonal flu. They can include:
    • cough.
    • fever.
    • sore throat.
    • stuffy or runny nose.
    • body aches.
    • headache.
    • chills.
    • fatigue.

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