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Swine-flu

Swine-flu

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Published by debabratalogon
The manual provides the basic idea of the infuenza virus, measures to detect swine-flu and the necessary ailments to prevent and avoid it.
The manual provides the basic idea of the infuenza virus, measures to detect swine-flu and the necessary ailments to prevent and avoid it.

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Published by: debabratalogon on Aug 22, 2009
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05/11/2014

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The spread of swine flu is fast emerging as No 1 healthcare emergency not just in the country butthe world over. Despite the issue being in the
 
media for a long time, there continue to be ignorance andmis-information about the disease and how to handle it. Indian Medical Association, Nagpur Centre, hascome up with a information dossier on the subject. We reproduce it here for the benefit of our readers.
What is H1N1 (swine) flu?
 H1N1 (referred to as "swine flu" early on) is a new influenza virus causing illness in people. This newvirus was first detected in people in the United States in April 2009. Other countries, including Mexico andCanada, have also reported people sick with this new virus. This virus is spreading from person-to-person, probably in much the same way that regular seasonal influenza viruses spread.In late March and early April 2009, cases of human infection with swine influenza A (H1N1) viruses werefirst reported in Southern California and near San Antonio, Texas.In the beginning it was difficult to predict the effect of this virus on general population. In seasonal flu,there are certain people who are at higher risk of serious flu-related complications. This includes peoplewith 65 years of more age, children below five years, pregnant women, and people of any age withchronic medical conditions.This virus is contagious but, at this time, it not known how easily the virus spreads between people. Thesymptoms of H1N1 swine flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and includefever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reporteddiarrhoea and vomiting associated with H1N1 swine flu. Severe illness (pneumonia and respiratoryfailure) and even deaths have been reported with H1N1 swine flu infection. Like seasonal flu, H1N1 swineflu may cause a worsening of underlying chronic diseases.
What are the symptoms?
 In children, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:* Fast breathing or difficulty in breathing* Bluish or gray skin colour* Not drinking enough fluids* Severe or persistent vomiting* Not waking up or not interacting* Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held* Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse coughIn adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:* Difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath* Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen* Sudden dizziness* Confusion
 
* Severe or persistent vomiting* Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
How do you catch H1N1 (swine) flu?
Spread of H1N1 (swine) flu can occur in two ways:H1N1 virus appears to be transmitted the same way that seasonal flu spreads. Flu viruses are spreadmainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing by people with influenza. Sometimes peoplemay become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.
How can someone with the flu infect someone else?
Infected people can infect others right from day one even before they themselves develop any symptomsup to seven or more days after becoming sick. That means that one can pass on the infection to someoneelse before he/she even knows that he/she is sick, as well as while one is sick.
What can I do to protect myself from getting sick?
 There is no vaccine available right now to protect against H1N1 (swine) flu. There are everyday actionsthat can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like influenza. Take theseeveryday steps to protect your health:* Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash afteryou use it.* Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based handcleaners are also effective.* Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.* Try to avoid close contact with sick people.* If you get sick with influenza, you should stay at home and not go for work or school and limit contactwith others to prevent them from getting infecting by you.* Reduce the time spent in the crowded settings.* Improve airflow in the living space by opening the windows and proper ventilation.* Practice good health habits including adequate sleep, eating nutritious food, and keeping physicallyactive.
 
How long can influenza virus remain viable on objects (such as books and doorknobs)?
Studies have shown that influenza virus can survive on environmental surfaces and can infect a personfor up to 2-8 hours after being deposited on the surface.Germs can be spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and thentouches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth. Droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected person movethrough the air. Germs can be spread when a person touches respiratory droplets from another person ona surface like a desk, for example, and then touches his own eyes, mouth or nose before washing hands.
Are there medicines to treat H1N1 (swine) flu?
Yes, use of oseltamivir (brand name Tamiflu?) or zanamivir (brand name Relenza ?) for the treatmentand/or prevention of infection with these H1N1 (swine) influenza viruses. Antiviral drugs are prescriptionmedicines (pills, liquid or an inhaler) that fight against the flu by keeping flu viruses from reproducing inyour body. If you get sick, antiviral drugs can make your illness milder and make you feel better faster.They may also prevent serious flu complications. For treatment, antiviral drugs work best if started soonafter getting sick (within two days of symptoms).Follow the advice of your local public health department regarding school closures, avoiding crowds andother measures to reduce flu transmission. These measures will continue to be important after a novelH1N1 vaccine is available because they can prevent the spread of other viruses that cause respiratoryinfections.
What should I do if I get sick?
If you live in areas where people have been identified with new H1N1 flu and become ill with influenza-like symptoms, including fever, body aches, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, nausea, or vomiting ordiarrhoea, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people, except to seek medical care. If youhave severe illness or you are at high risk for flu complications, contact your health care provider or seekmedical care. Your health care provider will determine whether flu testing or treatment is needed.Antiviral drugs may reduce the symptoms and duration of illness, just as they do for seasonal influenza.They also may contribute to preventing severe disease and death. WHO is in touch with public healthauthorities and clinicians in affected countries and is gathering information about how effective the drugsare.
What about using a mask? What does WHO recommend?
 If you are not sick you do not have to wear a mask. If you are caring for a sick person, you can wear amask when you are in close contact with the ill person and dispose of it immediately after contact, andclean your hands thoroughly afterwards.If you are sick and have to travel or be around others, cover your mouth and nose.

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