The rise of Swine Flu- its effects and how one can prevent it?
Read to know more about swine flu how it prevents, how it affects our body and its symptoms.
What is Swine Flu?
Swine Flu is a respiratory disease which is caused by influenza viruses which affect the respiratory tract of pigs. The symptoms of swine flu are similar to that of human flu and that is one of the reasons why it could be hard to detect. The symptoms include high fever, a barking sort of cough, nasal secretions and other kinds of listless behavior. Swine flu has the tendency to change their nature so they are easily transmissible amongst humans. Earlier, it was said that this disease spread when humans came in direct contact with pigs.
How is swine flu transmitted amongst humans?
Since swine flu is a respiratory disease, it is transmitted from one person to the other through inhalation and ingestion of droplets of the person who has already been transmitted with the disease. As much as the name suggests, it does not transmit through pork products. Earlier, the virus called H1N1 was the virus which was causing swine flu, way back in 2009. Since 2011, the virus has taken a new form and is now being referred to as (H3N2)v.
Symptoms of Swine Flu:
The symptoms of swine flu include high-grade fever, cough, nasal secretions, headaches and excess fatigue. Some patients have also experienced sore throats, rashes, chills, nausea. In Mexico, where this disease was first found, this disease was most commonly found in young adults. The time from the exposure to the virus till the time when the symptoms finally show up, takes about one to four days with an average of 2 days. Some patients have faced excessive bouts of respiratory issues by resorting to the ventilator due to excess shortage of breath.
Diagnosis of Swine Flu:
The first step in diagnosing this would be to check what the patient’s history with swine flu patients has been and whether there has been any association in the past. Secondly, the symptoms, if matching with the known symptoms can lead to the next step in the diagnosis. Usually, a nasopharyngeal web sample is collected, in a protected atmosphere, usually in hospitals and laboratories to assert whether the person has been infected with influence A or B virus.
If the test is positive for either A or B, then a deeper investigation is done. Also if a person is positive with a B virus, it is most likely not swine Flu. If it is positive for A, then there is a greater chance of it being swine flu. However, the accuracy of these tests has been challenged and there is ongoing study and research adopted to improve the current state of diagnosis.
The most concrete way to prevent you from swine flu is through vaccination. People more susceptible to this disease are people with a history of respiratory infections, children more than 6 months old, people aged 50 years and older, pregnant women should compulsorily get tested for this. They say prevention is better than cure and this is perhaps one of the safest ways to prevent.