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Swine Flu On The Rise: All You Need To Know

Here's all you need to know to prevent swine flu.

Swine Flu On The Rise: All You Need To Know

Swine flu: All you should know to prevent it

H1N1 influenza has claimed 23 lives in Kerala so far this year with the state recording higher incidence of the flu compared to the previous year, a health department officials said. A total of 300-400 swine flu cases had been confirmed so far across the state and out of them as many as 23 people had died, they said. State Nodal Officer for H1N1 Amar Fettle said the increase in the incidence of the disease this year was registered not only in Kerala but also in entire south India. Stating that there was no need for any panic, he said necessary steps had been taken to check the spread of the flu.

All government hospitals, including primary health centres, have been equipped with enough quantity of medicines and guidelines issued with regard to the treatment.

"This year, 27 per cent of samples of throat swabs tested from affected people were found to be positive for H1N1," Fettle told PTI.

The official said the influenza was first spotted in the state in 2009. Since then, the disease had become a seasonal one in the region.

"People suffering from diabetes, asthma, cardiovascular issues, cancer and HIV among others and pregnant women are considered to be the high risk or vulnerable group," he said.

What is Swine Flu

Swine flu, also known as the H1N1 virus, is a relatively new strain of an influenza virus that causes symptoms similar to the regular flu. It originated in pigs, but is spread primarily from person to person. Swine flu made headlines in 2009 when it was first discovered in humans and became a pandemic. Pandemics are contagious diseases affecting people throughout the world or on multiple continents at the same time.

Like other strains of the flu, H1N1 is highly contagious, allowing it to spread quickly from person to person. A simple sneeze can cause thousands of germs to spread through the air. The virus can linger on tables and surface areas like door knobs, waiting to be picked up.

Symptoms

If you have been experiencing any of the following symptoms, consult your doctor immediately. Swine flu can be detected with the help of blood samples and nasal and saliva swabs. Symptoms which may be similar to a seasonal flu but can indicate swine flu are as follows:
 
  • Fever and chills
  • Pain in the bones and joints
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Cough and runny or stuffy nose


Though pregnant women, children and old people are more susceptible to the disease, almost all sections of the society have fallen prey to the H1N1 virus, he said. Besides, 182 people have tested positive for the viral infection across Maharashtra.

Prevention

The best means of dealing with swine flu is to prevent it. The best way to prevent swine flu is to get a yearly flu vaccination. Other easy ways to prevent swine flu include:
  • frequently washing hands with soap or hand sanitizer
  • not touching your nose, mouth, or eyes (the virus can survive on surfaces like telephones and tabletops)
  • staying home from work or school if you're ill
  • avoiding large gatherings when swine flu is in season


(With inputs from PTI)
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