Swine Influenza also commonly known by different names like pig flu, hog flu and swine flu. The name of the virus is still not official and among general population it is known as H1N1 Swine Flu Virus. The disease caught its name because it transferred from pigs in which the virus evolved. The swine flu virus is a reassortant that is a mix of genes from bird, swine and human flu viruses. People who have more exposure to pigs are at high risk to catch this disease than that of normal ones. In most of the cases body itself produces antibodies to fend off the virus. The risk of the flu passing to one human to another is rare. Symptoms related to swine flu are similar to that of influenza and other influenza like illnesses. The current swine flu virus is different as it has evolved allowing it to freely pass from one human to another even to the ones who have no exposure to pips ever.
CAUSES OF SWINE INFLUENZA:-
The swine influenza virus attacks by infecting the cell lining of your nose, throat and lungs. The transference of the virus from one host to another is when someone inhales in the contaminated droplets of virus through eyes, nose or mouth. There is a misconception regarding that swine flu transfers from eating pork products which is not true. The main causes for swine influenza’s transference are as follows.
• Through sneezing
• Through coughing
• By touching a contaminated surface and rubbing your eyes and nose afterwards.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:-
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that symptoms of swine flu in humans are similar to that of influenza and other influenza like illness. Most common symptoms of swine flu are stated as follows.
• High fever
• Sore throat
• Body pain
• Intense coughing
• Lack of breath
• Stomach aches
• Loss of appetite
• Running nose and watery eyes
Since its evolving there are also reports of Diarrhea and Vomiting. The mortality rate concerning with swine flu is low however it is ever present. They occur mostly in children and elderly. The death is normally caused by following causes.
• Respiratory failure
• Pneumonia leading to sepsis
• High fever causing neurological illness
• Dehydration from excessive vomiting and diarrhea
• Kidney failure
RISK FACTORS FOR APPENDICITIS:-
Risk factors for swine flu are discussed in detail below.
Children among 6 months to 4 years are all higher risk. Adults over 50 years are also at higher risk of catching this disease. Young adults under 19 years receiving aspirin therapy and having Reye’s syndrome after influenza infection are also at risk.
(ii) Other medical illnesses:-
Adults and children having a medical history of the following diseases are also at high risk of exposure to swine flu.
• Chronic pulmonary condition (Asthma)
• Cardiovascular diseases
• Renal diseases (kidney)
• Hepatic (Liver)
• Neurological disorders
• Metabolic disorders e.g. diabetes
(iii) HIV patients:-
People having immunosuppression diseases, most commonly caused by overuse of medications or either due to HIV Aids.
(iv) Nurses and doctors:-
People who are at more risk of exposure are nurses, doctors and other staff of hospitals and long term care facilities.
One of the highest risk factor of catching swine flu is to people who are morbidly obese.
(vi) Pregnant women:-
Pregnant women are at high risk of catching swine flu to the extent of six times than those who are not pregnant.
DIAGNOSIS OF SWINE INFLUENZA:-
The recommended diagnosis by CDC for swine flu is Real Time PCR. This is a laboratory technique that allows to monitor amplification of targeted DNA molecule in real time. The doctor takes a sample of your oral or nasal fluid in a filter paper. This specific test allows differentiating between seasonal influenza and swine influenza.
PREVENTION FROM SWINE INFLUENZA:-
The prevention of swine flu is discussed in the followings.
(i) Pig to human transference:-
Swine flu virus that tends to happen via transmission through swine majorly happens in pig farms. Although their strain is not contagious it still can be prevented by wearing mask when working. Other prevention is to not smoke near pigs and also not working with sick animals without wearing gloves.
(ii) Human to human:-
The main causes as explained above are via coughing sneezing or by touching the contaminated surface and then rubbing your face. Swine flu is contagious in its early five days. To prevent spreading influenza frequently washes your hands with soap or hand sanitizers. To prevent the transmission to others in home can be done by disinfecting home by using chlorine bleach solution. One tactic is social distancing which requires you to stay away from infected people.
Another prevention method is to be administered with vaccine in the wake of an epidemic. Currently there are many vaccines available for swine flu in market. E.g. are Flumist and Flumist quadrivalent.
TREATMENT OF SWINE INFLUENZA:-
Treatment of swine flu requires immediate use of drugs after proper diagnosis as it can become milder and patient recovers fast. The recommended time period is two days after symptoms begin to appear. Some of the people don’t require any antiviral drugs for treatment and recover on their own. This doesn’t mean that you should not consult with a doctor. The common drugs prescribed by doctors are as follows.
• Tamiflu (Oseltamivir)
• Relenza (Zanamivir)
• Flumadine (Rimantadine)
Another most effective drug is available in form of injection by name of Rapivab (Peramivir injection). It requires to be injected to the following people.
• Patients not showing any progress through oral or inhaler therapies.
• Only option is to be via IV.
• The physician decides that IV therapy is most suitable.
HOME REMEDIES FOR SWINE INFLUENZA:-
To help ease your symptoms of swine flu are some of the following house remedies.
(i) Fluid intake:-
To prevent dehydration drink fluids like fresh juices, water and warm soups.
Having much rest helps your immune system to fight infection more effectively. Often only rest can cure the disease.
(iii) Other pain relievers:-
Over the counter pain reliving tablets can be used to fend off the disease e.g. Tylenol, Advil and Mortin IB. they only help in reliving the symptoms but if used for a long time can cause serious side effects like liver problems and stomach disorders.