Swine Flu: H1N1 Flu Virus

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A very common known disease since 2009. The word swine is used as in the earlier times, people who caught this disease used to have direct contact with pigs and get affected by the influenza virus. Therefore, it was believed that this disease was caused by some virus linked with pigs. Later, this belief changed as people who were not having any contact with pigs, showed signs of infections caused by the H1N1 virus.

In 1930, for the first time, pork producers recognized the influenza virus in pigs. People who were associated with pigs caught that virus as well.

Nasal secretions, barking cough, decreased appetite and change in behavior were the symptoms noticed in the infected swine. Later the virus was seen in humans in 2009, Mexico.

What is Swine Flu?

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A respiratory disease which is caused by influenza virus and infects the respiratory tract of the pigs is known as Swine Flu. The influenza virus is stably adaptable to humans. Therefore, it can be transmitted easily from animals to humans.

In 2009, a case of swine flu was registered in Mexico, due to the infection caused by the H1N1 virus: H1 (hemagglutinin type 1) and N1 (neuraminidase type 1).

It is called Swine Flu because the eight RNA strands from novel H1N1 flu derived from one strand of human flu strains, two from bird strains and five from swine strains.

In 2011, influenza An H3N2v virus was also reported for the cause of swine flu.


Causes of Swine Flu:

  • H1N1v Influenza Virus
  • H3N2v Influenza Virus
  • H1N2v Influenza Virus
  • H3N2 Influenza Virus

Like cold, it is also contagious. The virus can be transmitted to the other person through the contaminated air (breathing or inhaling) or by a sneeze or a cough from the infected person, as this will leave the virus-containing droplets in the environment.

There are two major causes of catching Swine Flu:

  • Direct contact with the infected pigs.
  • Direct contact with the infected persons.

There is no other way of catching this flu. As it is contagious, it passes from one to the other.

People under high risk:

This category is divided into 6 groups of people:

  • Old age people, especially over the age of 65 are more likely to get infected.
  • Younger ones below the age of 5.
  • Pregnant women.
  • A person having weak immune system.
  • A person under aspirin medication from a long time, especially teens.
  • People suffering from chronic diseases.

In all the above cases, one thing is common, if you have a weak immune system, you are more likely to catch this virus than any healthy person.

Duration of Swine Flu:

Usually, it lasts from 5 to 7 days in normal conditions but if the situation gets worse, then hospitalization may be required and the infection can last to 10-14 days.

Symptoms of Swine Flu:

Just like seasonal flu such as a cough or cold, swine flu shows the similar symptoms. Therefore, it can be often misunderstood with seasonal flu.

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The initial symptoms include:

  • A cough or a sore throat
  • Fever or High Temperature
  • Headache
  • Body ache
  • Stuffy or Running Nose
  • Chills
  • Fatigue

A little serious condition can lead to diarrhea or vomiting as well.

If not taken care on time, it can get worse and ill effects can be visible which can be either for a long time or for a lifetime.

Serious conditions show symptoms like:

  • Pneumonia
  • Lung Infection
  • Breathing Problems
  • Diabetes
  • Asthma

The cure for Swine Flu:

Firstly, it is necessary to confirm whether it is a regular flu or swine flu. For this, few tests are performed such as blood test, chest X-ray or nose/throat swab.

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For its treatment, few antiviral drugs are used:

  • Oseltamivir (Tamiflu)
  • Peramivir (Rabivap)
  • Zanamivir (Relenza)
  • Adamantanes (Amantadine or Rimantadine)
  • Other pain relievers can help to fight with aches, pains or fever.
  • Few vaccines have also been produced which can be used from children to adults.

Antibiotics are useless in such cases because of the virus, not by bacteria, causes the infection.

If you are able to detect it at the very early stage, you can get through it without the medications, if you further take proper care of yourself. The preventive measures should be adopted whether the person is infected or not, in order to avoid the condition from getting worse.

Preventive Measures:

It’s a saying, ‘Prevention is better than Cure’.

For a Healthy Person:

If you are aware of your health, you need to take these preventive measures to protect yourself from the flu.

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap or use sanitizer.
  • Don’t stress yourself and take enough sleep.
  • Drink a lot of liquid to prevent dehydration.
  • Regular physical exercise is a secret to healthy physic.
  • Have a properly balanced diet.
  • Avoid getting close to sick people.
  • If your area is affected by Swine Flu, try to avoid crowd or use breathing mask around your mouth and nose.
  • Do not touch the surfaces that may have a virus on them.

Prevention to be taken by Infected Ones:

If you have caught the virus, you should take few steps so that others near you can stay safe and healthy.

  • Try to stay home as much as possible and avoid contacting other people.
  • Use a tissue while coughing or sneezing.
  • Dispose of the used tissues regularly; do not keep them with you for a long time.
  • Wash your hands and face regularly.
  • Try to keep your surroundings clean.
  • Follow all the instructions given by your doctor.

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As this disease is contagious, try to keep your surroundings clean and healthy. Avoid going near to infected person or place. Keep yourself clean and take a healthy diet. Use face masks to avoid inhaling of contaminated air. By taking small steps in daily life, anyone can lead a healthy life.


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