Swine Flu – H1N1

Swine Flu – H1N1

Swine Flu – H1N1

Influenza A (H1N1), also known as ‘swine flu’ is a new virus causing illness in people. First detected in Mexico in April 2009, it has spread to many countries in the World. It has been found that this new virus has gene segments from the swine, avian and human flu virus genes. The laboratory testing showed that many of the genes in this new virus were very similar to those found in pigs in North America. WHO raised the A(H1N1) pandemic alert to the highest level – Phase 6 – on June 11, 2009.

Disease

  • Highly contagious acute respiratory disorder
  • Human-to-human transmission take place like normal flu, when particles of the virus released through coughs and sneezes are breathed in
  • Generally clinical symptoms are similar to seasonal influenza but reported clinical presentation ranges broadly from asymptomatic infection to severe pneumonia resulting in death


Feature of Pandemic H1N1 2009

  • The spread of the pandemic virus is considered unstoppable: In past pandemics, influensa viruses have needed more than six months to spread as widely as new H1N1 virus has spread in less then six weeks.
  • The severity of the pandemic is currently considered to be moderate; most patents experiencing uncomplicated and self-limited illness
  • Some groups at increased risk for severe disease and death from infection

    • Pregnant women
    • Persons with other chronic conditions, e.g. asthma, cardiovascular diseased, obesity, diabetes, renal disease.


Symptoms

  • Fever, Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Chills
  • Body aches
  • Nausea & Vomiting
  • Lack of appetite
  • Diarrhoea
  • Fatigue/tiredness
  • Difficulty in breathing


Precautions

  • Avoid close contact with people who appear unwell and who have fever and cough
  • Wash your hands with soap and water frequently and thoroughly
  • Practice good health habits including adequate sleep, eating nutritious food and keeping physically active
  • Cover mouth and nose with a proper mask while caring for an ill person or when crowded places
  • Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose
  • Cover your mouth and nose while coughing/sneezing.
  • Avoid shake hands, hug and kiss socially, or use other contact greetings.
  • Having any respiratory distress, one should report to a nearby hospital


Seek advice, if affected

  • Do not sneeze or cough directly into bare hands. Cover your mouth and nose with a handkerchief or tissue while coughing or sneezing
  • Stay at home and limit your contact with people
  • Take rest and consume plenty of fluid
  • Seek medical advice, if necessary


Treatment

  • Drugs like Tamiflu and Relenza are used to treat the infection;
  • Paracetamol to control fever and aches
  • Plenty of fluid intake and ample rest is advised.

Appeal

People who have traveled from the affected countries in the past few days and show symptoms of influenza A (H1N1) like fever, cough, sore throat and difficulty in breathing should immediately contact the nearby Government Hospital.

State Surveillance Unit: IDSP or Call: 0172-2740408, 102, 0172-2782457

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