All you need to Know about Swine Flu this winter

The country has registered 6,803 swine-flu cases so far in 2018.

Last year, 2,270 people had died due to the H1N1 infections

So far this year, with Maharashtra alone accounting for almost 50% of the cases followed by Gujarat and Delhi.

  • Swine flu is a respiratory infection caused by a virus which usually infects pigs.
  • Is caused by Type A influenza virus
  • The virus is highly contagious and can survive in the environment for days.
  • Swine flu is transmitted from person to person by inhalation or ingestion of droplets containing virus from people sneezing or coughing; it is not transmitted by eating cooked pork products.
  • People at risk are generally : Pregnant women, caregivers for infants, medical workers, children and young adults between 6 months to 24 year and immunocompromised individuals
  • The symptoms include common flu like fever, sore throat, cough, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue.
  • Complications like pneumonia and respiratory failure can develop.

Role of Oseltamivir in Treatment of Swine Flu:

  • Doctors generally recommend the drug to treat flu symptoms caused by influenza virus in patients who have had symptoms for less than 2 days.
  • Oseltamivir reduces the duration of symptoms by one and a half days if treatment is started within 48 hours of the beginning of symptoms
  • Oseltamivir is used to treat influenza in people 2 weeks of age and older.
  • Oseltamivir should not be used in place of getting a yearly flu shot.

Role of Flu Vaccine in Prevention:

  • The flu vaccine is the best protection against the flu.
  • The flu vaccine will protect you for one flu season only
  • It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against influenza virus infection.
  • If you are sick with a fever, you should wait until your fever is gone before getting a flu shot. However, you can get a flu shot if you have a respiratory illness without a fever, or if you have another mild illness.
  • You cannot get the flu from the flu shot or the nasal spray. The flu shot contains inactivated (killed) flu viruses that cannot cause illness.
  • The nasal spray contains weakened live viruses. The weakened viruses only cause infection in the cooler temperatures found in the nose. The viruses cannot infect the lungs or other areas in the body where warmer temperatures exist.
  • Every year everyone who is 6 months of age and older should get the flu vaccine as every year the strain of virus changes.
  • Mild reactions such as soreness, headaches, and fever are common side effects of the flu vaccine

Precautionary Measures against Swine Flu:

  • Maintain hygiene in and outside your house.
  • Always cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • People may also wear a mask.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rubs especially after you a cough or sneeze.
  • Avoid touching your face this will help prevent a spread of germs.
  • Avoid close contact with sick people, if you are sick then abstain from work or school and do not remain for long in crowded places.

In case there is a breakout of Swine Flu in your area please observe with influenza-like symptoms, including fever, body aches, runny nose, sore throat, nausea, Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, Sudden dizziness, or vomiting or diarrhoea, consult the doctor. In children if there is difficulty in breathing, irritability, bluish discoloration of skin and reduced activity please contact the emergency department at the hospital.

For medical management and treatment of Swine flu and its complications please contact Wockhardt Hospital.

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