H1N1 Flu or Swine Flu
H1N1 Flu or Swine Flu
The term “swine flu” mainly refers to influenza in pigs. In 2009, scientists discovered a flu virus known as H1N1. This virus is a combination of viruses from pigs, birds, and humans. H1N1 causes respiratory infections in humans that were commonly referred to as swine flu. H1N1 caused a pandemic, which was over in 2010 and since then both of these viruses were named together.
Scientists have discovered other strands of these viruses and named them H1N1v (v is for variant) and H3N2v. These are found in animals and humans and cause flu.
The signs and symptoms of swine flu and other flu strain viruses are similar to many seasonal infections and respiratory illnesses and include:
- Episodes of Fever
- Cough and chills
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Watery, red eyes
- Nausea and vomiting
Flu symptoms occur after 1 to 3 days you’re exposed to the virus.
Influenza viruses mainly infect the front line cells that line your nose, throat, and lungs. The virus enters your body when you inhale contaminated droplets or transfer viruses from a contaminated surface into the eyes, nose, and mouth. Any person who lived in or traveled to an area where people are affected by swine flu, he or she may have been exposed and suspected to the virus. Farmers and veterinarians have the highest risk of exposure to swine flu because they work with or are near to pigs and animals.
People with flu, including swine flu, requires only symptom relief medications. If a person has a chronic respiratory disease, the physician may prescribe a combination of medications to help reduce the symptoms.
Four approved antiviral drugs by the FDA, that are prescribed within the first day or when symptoms are reported to reduce the severity of symptoms and the risk of complications. These drugs are:
- Oseltamivir (Tamiflu)
- Baloxavir marboxil (Xofluza)
- Zanamivir (Relenza)
- Peramivir (Rapivab)
In some cases, flu viruses develop resistance to these drugs. Report to a doctor immediately.
There are remedies to ease the discomfort and relief from symptoms that include:
- Drinking lots of water and juices
- Have warm soups
- Sleep and have more rest
- Take pain relievers with the doctor’s prescription. Pain relievers do not make the infection go away but make the person comfortable. But if you are experiencing any side effects report to the hospital.
- Swallow garlic with lukewarm water.
- Drink Lukewarm milk with turmeric.
- Swallow a teaspoon of aloe-vera gel with water.
- Have food items that are rich in Vitamin C like citrus fruits and vegetables.
- Drink honey in lukewarm water.
- Wash hands frequently.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a towel or tissue paper when coughing or sneezing.