Preventing Swine Flu
Did You Know?
- In India, as of 26 December 2010, number of confirmed cases of the 2009 swine flu pandemic stood at 46,131 with 2,728 deaths.
- Women who died of the disease were aged between 39 and 60.
- The 2009 H1N1 virus that causes swine flu in humans is a subtype of influenza A virus, which causes influenza in birds and some mammals.
- The first case of swine flu was found on the Hyderabad airport on 13 May 2009. A man travelling from U.S to India was found H1N1 positive.
- The first death caused by swine flu occurred in Pune on 4 August 2009.
- Tamiflu, the only known drug to work against swine flu was not sold in drug stores initially as it was feared by the government that the virus would form a resistance to the drug due to excessive and unnecessary use.
- The flu virus was first identified in April 2009 and the commonly known ‘swine flu’ spread initially in Mexico and then globally through transmission.
- According to the World Health Organisation, the swine flu virus has spread to as many as countries throughout the world.
- The highly unusual swine flu virus was not ironically not detected in any pigs in North America except those in a single herd in Canada that was found infected in late April.
How Do I Know If I Have Swine Flu?
The symptoms of swine flu in human is varied in nature. The infection can spread through a number of sources. Direct transmission from pigs, known as zoonotic swine flu, has happened occasionally with 50 cases and 6 deaths occurring since the first official report in 1958. The symptoms of the 2009 swine flu (H1N1 virus) is very similar to common influenza. The symptoms of the disease include fever, headache, chills, cough, sore throat, body ache and fatigue. The pandemic that began in 2009 showed an increasing percentage of infected people who reporting diarrhoea and vomiting. The 2009 swine flu virus is not a zoonotic one as it is not transmitted from pigs to humans but has spread from person to person.
How Can I Prevent Swine Flu ?
There are three aspects or components of swine flu prevention. The three steps include -
- Prevention of the disease in pigs: Facility management, herd management and vaccination are some of the effective methods that can be used to prevent the influenza in pigs.
- Prevention of swine-to-human transmission: This kind of transmission is most likely to occur in swine farms, where farmers are in close contact with the animals. Therefore use of face mask and gloves among farmers and veterinarians is highly recommended. Also the use of vaccines on swine is a very important method of preventing the influenza infection. Smoking is also considered a risk factor that may lead to swine-to-human transmission.
- Prevention of human-to-human transmission: When an infected person coughs or sneezes the influenza spreads between humans through breathing of the virus. It may also spread when someone touches something with the virus on it and then touches his face. A strict caution therefore is avoiding touching one’s eyes, nose or mouth. Also standard infection control methods that include frequent hand washing with water and soap and cleansing and disinfecting of household surfaces with diluted chlorine bleach solution helps in preventing human-to-human transmission of swine influenza.
Every healthy individual should have an annual Swine flu (H1N1) checkup, Get Swine flu (H1N1) checkup done today at special checkup centres in Pune, Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Nagpur, Nashik, Goa, Solapur, Bhilai, Vapi, Jalgaon, Belgaum & More cities
- Situation Update on H1N1 – Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of India
- Key facts about swine influenza (swine flu) – Diagnosis: Centres for Disease Control and Prevention
- Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 – The World Health Organisation