H1N1 or Swine flu is a disease caused by a type of virus that has transmitted to humans from animals over time. It is a serious disease that is transmitted by type- A flu virus. Since it is a viral disease it is highly contagious through touch and air.
Swine flu was originally considered to be influenza in pigs. However, in 2009 over a string of flu cases in humans, scientists found a new kind of virus i.e H1N1 which was a combination of flu virus from pigs, humans, and birds. This H1N1 flu virus directly attacks the respiratory system of humans causing fatal damage.
Influenza virus attacks the cells of your nose, throat, and lungs. thus the most common and first symptom of swine flu is a runny nose, itchy throat, etc.
How does the H1N1 virus or swine flu spread?
This H1N1v( v stands for variations) spreads either through direct contact with an infected person or through inhalation of contaminated air/ droplets. You could also get infected by touching infected surfaces e.g. public washrooms, doorknobs or any other infected place. You can also get infected through saliva ( kissing or sharing drinks), hugging, etc.
The viruses of swine flu remain active during the moderate climatic conditions and thus every year around February to April there is an increase in cases and symptoms of swine flu all over the country.
This year the number of cases from across the country has risen to 60+ in the cities of Jaipur, Meerut, Delhi, Bangalore, etc. Hence, it is must to stay protected and look out for the symptoms of the H1N1 virus.
The most common and early swine flu symptoms are :
Fever: Although, in some cases, the patient does not have a fever but still has been tested positive for the disease. In certain cases the fever could come and or no fever at all.
Blocked/Runny nose: Since the swine flu virus directly attacks the respiratory tract blocked nose or runny nose are two of the major swine flu symptoms.
Red /Watery eyes
Nausea or vomiting
Although the symptoms of swine flu are similar to that of normal flu it is advised to take necessary precautions and diagnosis once these symptoms are noticed. The symptoms of swine flu are a little difficult to read in children, hence these symptoms are important to look for in case of young kids.
Rashes with fever
Difficulty in breathing
Loss of appetite
How to prevent yourself from swine flu symptoms?
Vaccination: The center for disease control and prevention recommends H1N1 vaccination for everyone age 6 months or older. The vaccination comes in two forms including injection and nasal spray. However, the spray is not recommended for certain groups such as pregnant women, children, people with chronic conditions and older people.
We need to adapt to some preventive measures to reduce the spread of the disease.
Keep your hands clean: Wash your hands always after coming from outside. Avoid putting hands or fingers in your eyes and mouth.
Cover while sneezing: Always cover your mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing to stop the spread of the virus.
Avoid crowd: Avoid going in a crowd or wear a mask all the time when outside home.
Rest at home: If you are feeling sick then take a day off and rest at home. People who are already sick are at a higher risk of catching the virus. Pregnant ladies, old people, and kids are prone to the H1N1 virus.
Drink lots of fluid: It is adamant to keep ourselves hydrated during any kind of flu. Liquid helps the body to function and fight the disease properly.
Diagnosis of swine flu (H1N1)
H1N1 flu is typically diagnosed by taking a swab from the nose or back of the throat. It is then tested for influenza A and B virus. In some cases, your medical practitioner will look for symptoms of swine flu and they diagnose it using various other methods. In Extreme cases usually, it is detected through a chest X-ray, followed by nasopharyngeal swab tests and several CBC lab tests (including platelet count, hemoglobin test).
If you are feeling tired and sick with symptoms of flu, you can always rely on ZevA. You can book diagnostic tests and a doctor consultation at the comfort of your home through ZevA. Our trained medical practitioner will visit your desired place to collect your samples and deliver the reports online within a few hours. Further to that, you can also book a doctor consultation to discuss treatments without visiting hospitals and crowded places.