Swine flu/ Swine influenza is an acute, highly contagious, respiratory disease that results from infection with type A influenza virus H1N1.
Causes of swine flu:
• Influenza viruses infect the cells lining your nose, throat and lungs.
• The virus enters your body when you inhale contaminated droplets or transfer live virus from a contaminated surface to your eyes, nose or mouth.
Signs and symptoms of swine flu:
Symptoms of swine flu in humans are similar to most influenza infections:
• Fever (100 F or greater)
• Sore throat
• Nasal secretions
• Runny or stuffy nose
• Body aches
Swine flu symptoms develop about one to three days after you’re exposed to the virus and continue for about seven days. If you are infected, you can be contagious for up to 10 days.
Risk factors of swine flu:
• If you’ve traveled to an area where many people are affected by swine flu (H1N1 flu), you may have been exposed to the virus, particularly if you spent time in large crowds.
• Swine farmers and veterinarians have the highest risk of true swine flu because of their exposure to pigs.
High-risk groups are those who:
• Are hospitalized
• Are younger than 5 years of age, particularly children younger than 2 years
• Are 65 years and older
• Are pregnant or within two weeks of delivery, including women who have had pregnancy loss
• Are younger than 19 years of age and are receiving long-term aspirin
• Have certain chronic medical conditions, including asthma, emphysema, heart disease, diabetes, neuromuscular disease, obesity, and kidney, liver or blood disease
• Are immune suppressed due to certain medications or disease condition.
• Worsening of chronic conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes and asthma
• Neurological signs and symptoms, ranging from confusion to seizures
• Respiratory failure
• Most cases of flu, including H1N1 flu, require only symptom relief.
• If you have a chronic respiratory disease, your doctor may prescribe additional medication to help relieve your symptoms.
• Vaccination against flu: These measures also help prevent swine flu (H1N1 flu) and limit its spread:
Complications of swine flu:
Treatments and drugs of swine flu:
Preventive measures of swine flu:
Stay home if you’re sick: If you do have swine flu (H1N1 flu), you can give it to others starting about 24 hours before you develop symptoms and ending about seven days later.
Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently: Use soap and water, or if they’re unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Flu viruses can survive for two hours or longer on surfaces, such as doorknobs and countertops.
Contain your coughs and sneezes: Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough. To avoid contaminating your hands, cough or sneeze into a tissue or the hand towel.
Avoid contact: Use protective mask. Stay away from crowds if possible. If you’re at high risk of complications from the flu for example, you’re younger than 5 or you’re 65 or older, you’re pregnant, or you have a chronic medical condition such as asthma. Consider avoiding swine barns at seasonal fairs and elsewhere.
Reduce exposure within your household: If a member of your household has swine flu, designate only one household member to be responsible for the ill person’s personal care.
Drink plenty of liquids: Choose water, juice and warm soups to prevent dehydration. Drink enough so that your urine is clear or pale yellow.
Rest: Get more sleep to help your immune system fight infection.
Swine flu Do’s and Don’ts:
• Avoid close contact with people who are having respiratory illness.
• Sick persons should keep distance from others.
• If possible, stay at home, away from work, school, and public places when you are sick.
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or handkerchief when coughing or sneezing.
• If you have no tissue or handkerchief you should not clean the nose with the hands but with the cuff of your shirt or clothes.
• Washing your hands often with soap or alcohol based hand wash will help protect from germs.
• Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
• Persons who develop influenza-like-illness (ILI) (fever with either cough or sore throat) should be strongly encouraged to self • isolate in their home for 7 days after the onset of illness or at least 24 hours after symptoms have resolved, whichever is longer.
• Persons who experience ILI and wish to seek medical care should contact their health care providers to report illness (by • telephone or other remote means) before seeking care at a clinic, physician’s office, or hospital.
• Persons who have difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath should seek immediate medical attention and report to the nearby hospital.
• If ill persons must go into the community (e.g., to seek medical care) they should wear a face mask to reduce the risk of spreading the virus in the community.
• If a face mask is unavailable, ill persons needing to go into the community should use a handkerchief or tissues to cover any coughing and sneezing.
• Persons in home isolation and their household members should be given infection control instructions like frequent hand washing with soap and water; use of alcohol-based hand gels (containing at least 60%alcohol).
• When the ill person is within 6 feet of others at home, the ill person should wear a face mask, if available or handkerchief or tissues.
• Persons with underlying medical conditions who are at high risk for complications of influenza may wish to consider avoiding large gatherings.
Household contacts who are well should:
• remain home at the earliest sign of illness;
• minimize contact in the community to the extent possible;
• Designate a single household family member as the ill person’s caregiver to minimize interactions with asymptomatic persons.
Hand hygiene guideline
• Evidence suggests that the flu virus does not survive for long periods of time on soft items although it can survive up to 24 hours on hard surfaces.
• Hard, non-porous surfaces (e.g. stainless steel counter or plastic bowls): flu virus is able to survive for up to 72 hours but only for 24 hours in large enough quantities to pose a risk of infection
• Soft surfaces/furnishings (e.g. clothes, handkerchiefs, tissues, magazines): flu virus is able to survive for up to 12 hours but only for about 15 minutes in large enough quantities to pose an infection risk
• Once the virus is transferred to hands, it survives for less than five minutes
• Cleaning your hands with soap and water (followed by drying) according to the guidelines is an effective way to kill flu virus on your hands
• The flu virus is killed within 30 seconds by appropriate antiseptic handrub solutions
2.2 Hands must be cleaned:
• When reaching and leaving the workplace
• When reaching home from work or outside activities
• Before and after direct contact with contaminated surfaces
• After contact with body secretions
• Before and after removing protective work clothing and gloves
• After handling soiled items
• Before handling food
• Before eating
• Before smoking
• Before touching your mouth, nose or eyes