Known and Unknown

Is Swine Flu fatal?

Indian natural herb Tulsi to fight back swine flu

The total number of Swine Flu patients has gone up 64 in India, with 24 confirmed cases reported from Delhi. Hyderabad has 15 Swine Flu patients. Nine of the 24 patients in Delhi, have discharged, while others are undergoing treatment. Several other Swine Flu cases reported fromBangalore (8), Jalandhar (7), Mumbai, Chennai and other cities in the country.

Although Swine Flu has not become a cause of concern in India yet, the government is not taking any chances. Precautionary measures are being taken and all passengers coming from abroad are undergoing thorough medical check-up.

The Union Health Ministry has confirmed that it has enough stocks of Tami Flu to combat the Influenza A (H1N1) or Swine Flu. All airports in the country are put on a high alert.

The WHO has raised the Influenza Pandemic Alert to the highest level which is 6

Symptoms in humans

Swine Flue Symptoms in Humans
Swine Flue Symptoms in Humans

Prevention in humans

Prevention of pig to human transmission

Swine can be infected by both avian and human influenza strains of influenza, and therefore are hosts where the antigenic shifts can occur that create new influenza strains.

The transmission from swine to human is believed to occur mainly in swine farms where farmers are in close contact with live pigs. Although strains of swine influenza are usually not able to infect humans this may occasionally happen, so farmers and veterinarians are encouraged to use a face mask when dealing with infected animals. The use of vaccines on swine to prevent their infection is a major method of limiting swine to human transmission. Risk factors that may contribute to swine-to-human transmission include smoking and not wearing gloves when working with sick animals.

Prevention of human to human transmission

Influenza spreads between humans through coughing or sneezing and people touching something with the virus on it and then touching their own nose or mouth.  Swine flu cannot be spread by pork products, since the virus is not transmitted through food.  The swine flu in humans is most contagious during the first five days of the illness although some people, most commonly children, can remain contagious for up to ten days. Diagnosis can be made by sending a specimen, collected during the first five days for analysis.

Recommendations to prevent spread of the virus among humans include using standard infection control against influenza. This includes frequent washing of hands with soap and water or with alcohol-based hand sanitizers, especially after being out in public. Chance of transmission is also reduced by disinfecting household surfaces, which can be done effectively with a diluted chlorine bleach solution. Although the current trivalent influenza vaccine is unlikely to provide protection against the new 2009 H1N1 strain, vaccines against the new strain are being developed and could be ready as early as June 2009.

Experts agree that hand-washing can help prevent viral infections, including ordinary influenza and the swine flu virus. Influenza can spread in coughs or sneezes, but an increasing body of evidence shows small droplets containing the virus can linger on tabletops, telephones and other surfaces and be transferred via the fingers to the mouth, nose or eyes. Alcohol-based gel or foam hand sanitizers work well to destroy viruses and bacteria. Anyone with flu-like symptoms such as a sudden fever, cough or muscle aches should stay away from work or public transportation and should contact a doctor for advice.

Social distancing is another tactic. It means staying away from other people who might be infected and can include avoiding large gatherings, spreading out a little at work, or perhaps staying home and lying low if an infection is spreading in a community. Public health and other responsible authorities have action plans which may request or require social distancing actions depending on the severity of the outbreak.

Do’ s and Dont’s when you are sick

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