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Title SWINE FLU (H1N1) EVERYTHING THAT YOU NEED TO KNOW !
 
Description The 2009 flu pandemic is a global outbreak of a new strain of influenza virus, officially named the "new H1N1", first identified in April 2009, and commonly called "Swine flu." It is thought to be a mutation of 4 known strains of the influenza A virus,

subtype H1N1: one of humans, one of birds, and two of pigs (swine). The virus "most likely" emerged from pigs in Asia, and was carried to North America by infected persons. This origin gave rise to the common name of "swine flu", largely used by mass media. Despite this origin, however, the current strain is transmitted between people and not from swine.

 

swine flu

 

HOW DOES SWINE FLU SPREAD?

The virus typically spreads from coughs and sneezes or by touching contaminated surfaces and then touching the nose or mouth. As the virus spreads very easily between people, those who get the flu are recommended to stay home from school or work and avoid crowds to avoid spreading the infection further. Influenza viruses are NOT known to be transmissible to people through eating processed pork or other food products derived from pigs.

 

VIRULENCE

Most infections continue to be mild—similar to seasonal flu—and recovery is extremely quick. Deaths so far are "a tiny fraction" of people who die every year from seasonal flu Most hospitalizations and deaths have been of persons that also had underlying conditions such as asthma, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, or a weakened immune system. When there's something that's new and unknown, it scares people.

 

 

SYMPTOMS

Most common symptoms are Fever and Cough. Symptoms, which can last up to a week, are similar to those of seasonal flu, and may include fever, sneezes, sore throat, coughs, headache, and muscle or joint pains.

SIGNS REQUIRING URGENT ATTENTION: (Besides Fever and Cough)

CHILDREN: Persistent vomiting, Signs of respiratory distress, which includes blue lips and skin, dehydration, rapid breathing, excessive sleeping, seizures and significant irritability

ADULTS: Persistent vomiting, shortness of breath, pain in the chest or abdomen, sudden dizziness or confusion.

 

PRECAUTIONS

Follow this general procedure to reduce the risk of catching or spreading the virus, you should:

  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, using a tissue

  • Throw the tissue away quickly and carefully

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water

  • Clean hard surfaces (like door handles and remote controls) frequently with a normal cleaning product

  • Keep away from others as much as possible. This is to keep from making others sick. Do not go to work or school while ill

  • Stay home for at least 24 hours after fever is gone, except to seek medical care or for other necessities. (Fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)

  • Drink clear fluids (such as water, broth, sports drinks, electrolyte beverages for infants) to keep from being dehydrated

  • Wear a facemask – if available and tolerable – when sharing common spaces with other household members to help prevent spreading the virus to others.



VACCINATION

Existing vaccines against seasonal flu provide no protection, and there is no vaccine for this strain WHO does not expect to have a full vaccine before the end of 2009, and vaccines available sooner may be limited and given first to healthcare workers, pregnant women, and other higher risk groups. Two or three injections will be required for maximum immunity from both the swine flu and seasonal flu. There is also concern if the new virus mutates further, it could become more virulent and less susceptible to any new vaccine.

 

TREATMENT

Antiviral drugs can be used to treat swine flu or to prevent infection with swine flu viruses. The anti-viral medicines oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza) are being used to treat people with swine flu. Antiviral drugs work by preventing the flu virus from reproducing. To be effective you need to take them within 48 hours of the symptoms beginning. These flu drugs can decrease the duration of the flu by 1 to 2 days if used within this early time period. These antivirals are usually given for a period of about 5-7 days. It’s unclear whether these drugs can prevent complications of the flu. Tamiflu is approved for prevention and treatment in people 1 year old and older. Relenza is approved for treatment of people 7 years old and older and for prevention in people 5 years old and older. These medications must be prescribed by a health care professional.

Side effects: Side effects of antiviral drugs may include nervousness, poor concentration, nausea, and vomiting. Relenza is not recommended for people with a history of breathing problems, such as asthma, because it may cause a worsening of breathing problems. Discuss side effects with your doctor.

Self medication: Antibiotics are a no-no. Chances are that antibiotics will not help your flu symptoms. That’s because flu, colds, and most sore throats and bronchitis are caused by viruses. In addition, taking antibiotics when you have a virus may do more harm than good. Taking antibiotics when they are not needed increases your risk of getting an infection later that resists antibiotic treatment. Antibiotics only cure certain infections due to bacteria — and if taken carelessly, you may get more serious health problems than you bargained for.



Is it safe to travel?

Avoid travelling unnecessarily. However, if you must travel, check how the country you’re going to handles swine flu. Although, the WHO doesn’t recommend travel restrictions, many countries have set up their own H1N1 policies, and some travellers have been screened or quarantined in other countries because of swine flu concerns.

 

 

Important contact numbers:

Outbreak Monitoring Cell (Control Room, NICD): 011-23921401

 

Websites: www.mohfw.nic.in and www.nicd.nic.in
You can also contact a toll free number 2392 1401 at the National Institute of Communicable Disease



Contact number for each cities:


Bangalore
BIAL Swine Flu Centre - 91-80-22001490

SDS TUBERCULOSIS & RAJIV GANDHI INSTITUTE OF CHEST DISEASES (Govt. of Karnataka), Hosur Road, Bangalore - 560029
Helpline No: 91-80-26631923

Chennai
Communicable Disease Hospital, 87, T.H. Road, Tondiarpet, Chennai, Tamil Nadu

Hyderabad
Govt. General and Chest Diseases Hospital, Erragadda , Hyderabad
Hospital Helpline Number - 040-23814939

Kolkata
Beliaghata Infectious Diseases Hospital, 57, Beliaghata Main Road, Kolkata

Mumbai
Kasturba Hospital, Arthur Road, Sane Guruji Marg, Mumbai 400011
Ph: 022- 23083901 / 23092458 / 23000889

New Delhi
Yellow Fever Quarantine Centre, Near AAI Residential Colony, New Delhi
Ph: 91-11-25652129

Influenza Ward, Ward no 5, Second Floor, New Building, RML Hospital, Delhi-1
RML- 91-11-24525211, 23404328, 23365525- Ext 4328

 

Source: CDC, Harrissons, Wikipedia.

 

 

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