The bad bad flu bug is bothering us. Yes it is the swine flu that is all over the media. The statistics are scary. Mexico has the most number of reported cases of the deadly flu. With more than 100 people dying and more than 1,600 are assumed to be sick, the Mexican government has closed all the public schools and also the public functions are cancelled. Other countries like USA, France, Spain, New Zealand and Hong Kong have the flu bug going around which is making the residents sick.
We are all worried of this A strain (H1N1) flu virus. Is this going to be a real pandemic? Is this strain of virus as scary as it sounds? Can this be treated? Are there enough medicines stocked up to protect us?
Well these are some of the concerns that we all have. We are no doubt all very worried. However we should all be aware of all the protective measures that we can take, should know about the symptoms and try to keep ourselves healthy.
Some facts to keep in mind:
1. Swine flu is caused by a type-A influenza virus and is a respiratory disease: Pigs suffer from it throughout the year. The strain seen now has not been seen before and is a variation of the H1N1 virus, a combination of human and animal viruses. The virus mutates as it spreads among people, it becomes harder to treat or prevent because the virus mutates and humans do not have a natural immunity to it.
2. Symptoms include fever, cough, lethargy, headache, body aches, sore throat, and chills. Some patients have reported diarrhea and vomiting. The concern is that further infection from the virus can lead to pneumonia, respiratory failure, and possibly death. There have been no fatalities reported in the United States.
3. If you feel that you are having similar symptoms, please go the nearest medical facility and get yourself tested.
4. Centers for disease control and prevention (CDC) recommends certain protective measures.
• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
• Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
• Stay home if you are sick for 7 days after your symptoms begin or until you have been symptom-free for 24 hours, whichever is longer. This is to keep from infecting others and spreading the virus further.
Other important actions that you can take are:
• Follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds and other social distancing measures.
• Be prepared in case you get sick and need to stay home for a week or so; a supply of over-the-counter medicines, alcohol-based hand rubs, tissues and other related items might could be useful and help avoid the need to make trips out in public while you are sick and contagious.
- The Swine flu is treatable with Tamiflu and Relenza, two flu drugs. Antiviral drugs are most effective when taken within two days of the onset of symptoms.
Wish you all stay safe and flu free...