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H1N1 (Swine) Flu – Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and Vaccines!

In the past days, more than 6000 people across the country have been affected by the H1N1 virus or Swine Flu. The virus, this time, has even defied its survival limitations and continues to spread despite rising temperatures. However, by keeping an eye on common symptoms and following some basic hygiene measure, you can easily protect yourself and your family from this virus. Here is a quick summary of what H1N1 is and what you can do to protect your family against it.

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What is H1N1 swine flu?

Swine flu is a very contagious respiratory disease. The swine flu virus is common throughout pig populations worldwide. However, the H1N1 virus that has caused the current outbreak can also affect people. People with regular exposure to pigs are at an increased risk of swine flu infection.

The reason why there is such a big concern about the current outbreak of swine flu is that it is now spreading from person to person.

What are the symptoms of swine flu?

Some people with H1N1 virus only have mild symptoms while others can develop complications such as dehydration, pneumonia and in extreme cases death.

The symptoms of swine flu are fever, tiredness, cough, headache, muscles and joint pain. H1N1 flu can also cause acute abdominal pain, diarrhoea and vomiting. Fever due to H1N1 flu can be very high. If your child has H1N1 flu, his fever could go above 102.5 degrees F.

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How does H1N1 swine flu spread?

H1N1 flu spreads from person to person in the same way as any other flu: through coughing and sneezing of infected people. Swine flu is very contagious and spreads easily. Eating or preparing pork doesn’t spread the H1N1 virus.

What should I do if my child shows symptoms of H1N1 swine flu?

Call your doctor if your child shows symptoms of H1N1 flu and explain the symptoms. Tell your doctor how old your child is and whether he/she has any other health problems. Let your doctor know if you contacted anyone who has tested positive for H1N1 flu. Your doctor may ask you to take your child to the hospital to get tested for H1N1.

Treatment for H1N1 swine flu

If your child has H1N1 swine flu, make sure he/she gets lots of rest and give him/her plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. If he/she is breastfed, offer him/her breast milk, and if he/she is formula-fed, give him/her formula and cooled boiled water. If your child is on solids, encourage him/her to eat if he/she feels like.Antiviral vaccines will relieve the symptoms and help your child to recover faster.

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What can I do to avoid swine flu?

  • Practising good hygiene
  • Wash your hands frequently and clean all surfaces regularly
  • Eating a healthy diet will provide the minerals and vitamins needed to fight infections.

If your child has H1N1 flu, you could prevent it from spreading to others by making sure:

  • He/she carries tissues
  • He/she covers his/her mouth and nose when he/she coughs or sneezes
  • He/she throws away his/her used tissues
  • He/she washes his/her hands regularly with soap and sanitizer

Source: World Health Organization

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