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AN INSIGHT INTO THE H1N1 ( SWINE FLU ) INFLUENZA VIRUS

  • By Admin
  • 15 Sep 2017

What is H1N1?

H1N1 flu is also known as Swine flu. It is called swine flu as people who caught this disease in the past had direct contact with pigs. It became a pandemic in 2009 but is now considered as another human flu virus. Swine Influenza virus can be transmitted to humans via contact with infected pigs. It can spread rapidly from person to person and is highly contagious.

WHY IS H1N1 SO SERIOUS?

Unlike other flu strains that mostly cause illness among the elderly, H1N1 doesn't discriminate based on age, and many people in young age are susceptible to the virus. However, some people are more likely to develop complications from H1N1, as seen in other cases with flu strains. People with chronic health conditions and those who live in a nursing home, chronic care facilities, and those who are older than 60 years of age are more likely to catch the virus.Children younger than 5 years of age are also more likely to develop complications. Complications from the swine flu or H1N1 virus include pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections and ear infections. If people have long-term chronic diseases, the flu can make their disease symptoms worse.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF H1N1?

The symptoms of H1N1 are similar to other strains of the flu. Most common ones are:

  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Body aches
  • Shortness of breath
  • Head aches
  • Chills
  • No appetite
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Runny nose

WHAT ARE THE BEST WAYS TO PREVENT H1N1?

The best way to protect you and your family from any flu strain is to get a flu shot yearly. You can get yourself vaccinated from your nearest hospital or clinic. Beyond that, there are also other measures also which you can adopt to prevent the flu:

* Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. Make it a habit to wash hands before meals, and after you have been in a public place, used a washroom, coughed or sneezed, and touched a common surface.

* Always use a handkerchief to cough and sneeze.

* Always keep your door knobs, keyboards, light switches and phones clean and disinfected.

* If you think you have the flu, stay at home, as there are chances you might contaminate to others.

* Eat healthy food and engage yourself in physical activity in order to keep your immune system strong. Flu season shifts from year to year, but most active in summers. It generally starts in October and runs until as late as May. So the best way to prevent the infection is to get yourself vaccinated before it could prove fatal to you.