The swine flu is reaching the proportions of a global epidemic. Having started in Mexico, it has jumped continents and several cases have been reported in India too. The medical term for swine flu is A-H1N1. It is a new Influenza virus which was detected only in April 2009.It is called swine flu because the lab tests show that the genes in the virus were similar to those found amongst pigs. However, there is no need to panic or get alarmed. It may help to arm yourself with more information instead!
The symptoms of swine flu are very similar to flu symptoms. These can range from sneezing, fever, cold and cough to bodyache, headache, sore throat and feeling chill. Some patients could also experience a stomach upset, diarrhea or vomiting.
An infected person can spread the disease even before he is aware that he has the swine flu, or before his symptoms become apparent. If someone manifests the swine flu, theres a higher chance of him infecting others in the first week or so.
It may be wise to stay away from sneezers or people who have a cold or flu. This is especially important if you are travelling, and spending hours closeted with others in an aircraft or train, at airports or public places. Keeping your hands scrupulously clean will help. Wash frequently with soap and water. Avoid touching contaminated surfaces. Needless to say, following simple etiquette can go a long way: eg cover your nose when you sneeze, cover your mouth if you cough etc. Keep your distance from people who you think have flu like symptoms. The consumption of pork cannot give you swine flu, so eat all you want!
The treatment will only follow a confirmed diagnosis. It is important NOT to self-medicate. There are government labs to detect if your flu is really swine flu. Once confirmed, it can be treated. The most popular drug available, to contain this virus is Tamiflu, but it cannot be used as a preventive.
Chennai Helpline for Swine Flu – +91 44 24321569
Hospital with Testing Facility for H1N1 Virus
King Institute of Preventive Medicine,
Guindy, Chennai – 600032
Phone : – 91 44 22501706
Landmark : Near Guindy Railway Station
Even though WHO has declared swine flu a pandemic, remember it is only because of the geographical spread of the disease globally, and not on account of the severity of the disease. It may be wise to be aware and follow simple rules to ensure you remain safe.