The "swine flu" or H1N1 pandemic caused between 151,700 to 575,400 deaths globally during 2009 and 2010, according to the CDC reports. It is a respiratory disease, caused by the virus known as H1N1, also known as A/H1N1. It is a mixture of four known strains of influenza A virus: One endemic in birds, one in humans, and two in pigs.
Swine flu first proposed to be a disease related to human influenza during the 1918 flu pandemic, known as Spanish flu, it infected about 500 million resulting in 50 million deaths. An outbreak of influenza A/H1N1 occurred in Mexico, in March 2009, which spreads across the globe in a short time. On 11 June 2009, WHO raised its highest pandemic alert, indicating that the A/H1N1 flu had spread in over two continents. The reported death toll was 18,172 in 214 countries, on June 2010. Many cases, specially the severe attacks and deaths are reported among healthy young adults.
The swine flu symptoms are usually similar to seasonal flu symptoms, which may include:
- High temperature
- Sore throat
- Body aches
- Running nose
- Diarrhea and vomiting
Individuals can experience the symptoms in one to four days, with an average of two days from exposure, which can last about seven to fourteen days or even longer if it is a severe infection.
A few effected individuals may develop severe respiratory symptoms that require respiratory support i.e., a ventilator to breathe. A person can even catch pneumonia while others develop seizures. In severe conditions, antibiotics are used to treat patients. Usually, death occurs from secondary bacterial infection in the lungs.
Swine Flu Causes
Swine flu virus attacks the pigs and is contagious. However, the transmission of infection is not from pigs to people, but it is from person to person. The influenza virus infects the cells lining one’s nose, throat, and lungs. So, when people infected with it cough or sneeze, the drops of mucus with the virus is released into the air. It normally spreads by
- Physical contact with a bacteria- covered area, and then touching their nose and eyes
Note: People won’t catch swine flu by consuming pork products.
Swine Flu Treatment
Scientists were able to come up with a preventive measure, which is a vaccine that can be given through an injection or nasal spray.
The vaccine may or may not cause side effects that includes
- Mild soreness
Cases of flu, including H1N1 flu, require only symptom relief. The oral drug oseltamivir (Tamiflu) is an antiviral drug used to treat influenza infections. This drug is reserved for people at high risk of complications like:
- Hospitalized individuals
- Children below 5 years especially younger than 2 years
- 65 years and older people
- Pregnant women or a mother who has recently given birth (2 weeks), and that includes women who suffered miscarriage
- Individuals below 19 years of age with a rare and fatal disease of Reye's syndrome, and receiving “long-term” aspirin therapy
- People suffering from chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes, asthma, heart disease, neuromuscular disease, obesity, emphysema, and blood, liver, or kidney disease
- Patients who are immune suppressed due to certain medications or HIV
Swine Flu Prevention
- Always cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough, sneeze, and throw the tissue in garbage after use
- Clean your hands with soap and water after coughing/ sneezing
- Do not touch your nose, eyes, and mouth and prevent spreading the germs
- Avoid others, if you experience flu like symptoms, especially children and elders who can be easily affected to infections
- Stay away from effected individuals
- Do not reuse the facemasks. They are use and throw
- Do not visit the areas where outbreaks have been reported
- Being hygienic is important. It can reduce the chances of getting affected or transmitting it to others
Naturopathy, Ayurveda and Homeopathy for Preventing Swine Flu
Since the dread of this disease has been spreading alternative treatment options are also doing rounds. Homeopathy suggests Influenzium 200 as a preventive dosage against swine flu. Some people are suggesting keeping cardamom and camphor in a handkerchief and smelling it every few hours. This smell will supposedly ward off the swine flu virus I air.
Well, you have to take these with a pinch of salt!
Most Important – Buy Health Insurance Plan To Cover Swine Flu
You have taken all the precautions against swine flu. Still, if you or your loved one falls victim to this dreadful disease, then what? Apart from mental stress there is a huge financial pressure too. The treatment of swine flu disease is expensive. It usually requires longer period of hospitalization. If proper care and timely treatment is not given then even death can happen due to swine flu.
Thus, it is important to have appropriate health insurance cover to fight swine flu. Leave no stone unturned while you are preparing yourself. Your preparation to fight with swine flu will be incomplete without having a health insurance plan.
All insurance companies cover swine flu after an initial waiting period of 30 days, since it is not a part of any exclusion and is a seasonal disease similar to jaundice. Go ahead, buy a health insurance plan and stay protected.
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