Keeping Safe From Swine Flu (H1N1) Virus

August 28th, 2009 healthwiki Health Resources 0

Swine flu, also called hog flu/pig flu is the scary names now a days. The recent outbreaks of swine flu or swine influenza A (H1N1) virus has created much panic in Bangladesh. It is heartrending but we have to be alert to contain the spread of the virus.

Simple influenza-like illness (fever, cough, sore throat) has been reported in many cases, mild respiratory illness (nasal congestion, rhinorrhea, shortness of breath) without fever and occasional severe disease also has been reported. Other symptoms reported with swine influenza A virus infection include vomiting, diarrhoea, myalgia (muscle ache), headache, chills, fatigue and shortness of breath. Conjunctivitis is rare, but has been reported. Severe disease (pneumonia, respiratory failure) and fatal outcomes have been reported with swine influenza A virus infection.

The potential for exacerbation of underlying chronic medical conditions or invasive bacterial infection with swine flu virus should be considered. To confirm a positive case, a simple throat or nasal swab is examined in laboratory. Follow the dos and don’ts to reduce the risk of catching or spreading.

* Stay home and limit contact with others as much as possible
* Cover your cough/ sneeze
* Rest and eat nutritious food and take plenty of liquids
* Get plenty of sleep and rest
* Seek medical advice if you have the symptoms
* It is better to cover mouth and nose. When coughing and sneezing, using a tissue and do not forget to throw the tissue away quickly and carefull

* Wash your hands regularly with soap and water
* Hands/Fingers are very important — even some people prefer to use gloves and stop doing hand shakes
* Clean hard surfaces (like door handles and remote controls) frequently with a normal cleaning product

Don’t forget to use tissue paper when sneezing and coughing and wash your hands regularly. Do not forget to carry tissue paper; catching the germs in a tissue paper could help limit the spread of the virus.

If you do have swine flu, you should contact a qualified doctor who is aware of its management rather than visiting a practitioner and ignorant about this disease. Recently several medical college hospitals in Bangladesh has opened special ward to treat swine flu cases.

Swine flu can be treated by the drugs — Oseltamivir and Zanamivir, according to WHO guideline. In some cases, antiviral medicine may cause side effects like nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach ache, headache. Even if you do feel these symptoms it is important that those prescribed antiviral medicine complete the course, even if symptoms of swine flu clear and you start to feel better quickly.