What Is Swine Flu?
Swine flu is a highly contagious (spreads from person to person) infection caused by a virus.
The name “Swine Flu” is however a misnomer as the infection has also been detected in people who were never in contact with pigs. Thus the World Health Organization has changed its name to a more appropriate and scientific one- Influenza a (H1N1).
How Does Influenza A (H1N1) Flu Spread?
It spreads just like any other flu through:
- Touching infected surfaces
Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms are similar to the symptoms of a regular human flu and include:
- Sore throat
- Running nose
- Burning eyes
- Body aches
- Severe illness like Pneumonia and Respiratory failure has also been reported
What Should We Do?
- DO NOT PANIC. Do not believe in rumours.
- Avoid travelling to flu prone countries as far as possible.
- Maintain good personal hygiene.
- Cover your sneeze and cough well with a disposable tissue.
- Adhere to good hand washing/cleaning procedures especially after coughing, sneezing and before meals.
- Avoid close contact with wild birds or animals.
- Avoid close contact with people who appear unwell and who have fever cough or cold.
- Though there is no evidence of Influenza a H1N1 spread through eating non vegetarian food, it is essential to ensure proper cooking of food before consumption.
- In case there is someone around you with flu, Keep distance, wear a face mask and after touching any object that may be carrying the flu virus do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
- If there is illness, immediately consult your Doctor.