Swine Flu is the name for the Influenza type A virus that affects pigs (Swine). Although swine flu doesn’t commonly affect humans, there was a Global Outbreak (Pandemic) in 2009–2010. H1N1 is a type A Flu-related Influenza virus. It is a combination of Swine, Avian (bird), and Human Genes in pigs. This Virus spreads to humans due to the direct contact with the virus via various means.
H1N1 was first detected in April 2009 in a 10-year-old girl in California. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that swine flu infected nearly 61 Million people in the United States and caused 12,469 deaths. Worldwide, up to 575,400 people died from pandemic swine flu.
- H1N1 causes respiratory illness and is very contagious. Symptoms of H1N1 are similar to those of the seasonal flu and may include: Fever, Body-pains, Loss of appetite, a Cough, a Sore Throat, a Headache, Fatigue, a Runny Nose, Irritated Eyes, Vomiting, Nausea, and Diarrhea.
- Type A Influenza viruses have the ability to mix with other strains, which in turn create a new strain. This is the reason for 2009 to 2010 pandemic.
- Metamorphosis of H1N1 Virus with Swine, Human, and Avian genes in pigs, is the resultant of “Swine Flu”.
- Influenza circulates among pigs throughout the year but is most common during the late fall and winter, similar to the human flu season.
- Sometimes pigs can pass the flu to the humans who work with them. It spreads through contact with a surface that has been sneezed or coughed on. It also spreads by inhaling air that’s contaminated with the virus. This is what happened during the 2009–2010 pandemic, only, in this case, the new H1N1 strain spread quickly because humans had no immunity to it.
- The pandemic was declared officially over in 2010 and H1N1 is considered a normal seasonal flu.
- When people get the H1N1 virus, it’s in the same way you can get any type of flu; by contact with another person who is sick.
- It spreads from droplets in the air that contain the virus or by touching a surface that has been contaminated.
- It also spreads or by touching the Eyes, Nose, or Mouth.
- You can’t get influenza from eating pork, though you should always make sure that it’s cooked thoroughly and handled carefully.
- If one develops signs of the flu, you don’t need to see a doctor if you’re usually healthy. However, if the patient is Pregnant, or have a Chronic illness such as Asthma, Diabetes, Emphysema, or a Heart condition, one should see Doctor right away.
- The doctor will diagnose the flu by taking a swab from your nose and/or throat within the first four to five days of your sickness. There are rapid Influenza Diagnostic tests that can tell if you have the flu or not, as well as which type (A or B), though they are not as accurate as other tests.
- There are also rapid Molecular checkups, which are more accurate and can also give a rapid result. Since there is more than one strain of influenza a virus strain, positive influenza, a test doesn’t necessarily mean you have the H1N1 virus.
- To definitively diagnose and classify the strain of influenza you have, such as H1N1, your doctor may send your specimen to a specialized hospital or state lab for analysis.
- H1N1 is just like Tamiflu and Relenza, and it seems like that it is responding to the antiviral medications.
- These medications do not cure the illness, but they may shorten the duration, make symptoms less severe, or help to avoid it altogether if already exposed.
- Otherwise, treatment for most people mainly consists of comfort measures and treating symptoms as they occur. If you have asthma or emphysema, for instance, your doctor might add a medication to help relieve your respiratory symptoms.
- Although complications occur due to any type of flu, with an Annual Flu vaccine, H1N1 can also be obstructed. This also includes thorough washing of hands regularly and staying away from infected people.
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