What Is Swine Flu And How To Prevent It

Do you know what measures to take to prevent the
Swine flu from plaguing your family

Keeping Healthy


If you have access to a television, have picked up a newspaper or even chatted with a friend, there's a good chance you have heard about this Flu.

The news of this strain of influenza flu, though not new news, can be frightening when you aren't sure just what you are dealing with.

How to prevent the Swine flu from plaguing your family and do you know what measures to take?

More importantly, are you aware of the ways in which this illness is spread and contracted?

Enlighten yourself with these important facts and better your chances of remaining healthy this flu season and throughout the year.

 

What is Swine Flu?

This disease is a mixture of the feared Avian Flu and many other influenza's strains.

This disease, Swine influenza or H1N1, is caused by type A influenza virus and sickens pigs with the flu.

Like human flu reactions, this disease caused pigs to become ill but death was not often seen.

Additionally, the pigs tended to get sickest during the fall and winter months that are most commonly known for flu spread among humans.

These viruses are ever changing, like many other strains.

This is a result of the rearranging and immersion of new influenza viruses that occurs when they are passed to a pig via another species.

There are currently four leading influenza type A virus subtypes in pigs, with the most recently reported as active being the H1N1 viruses.

Once, this disease was passed from pigs to humans and therefore, humans who weren't within the vicinity of pigs didn't feel a need to worry.

However, the illness is now being spread from human to human contact and the outbreaks have caused quite a panic.

From Mexico to the United States and worldwide, this disease has taken its toll.

A cluster of deaths have been reported, schools have shut down for preventive measures and as the result of student and faculty illnesses, and many individuals are rightfully concerned with staying healthy.

Its cases have, until recently, been few and far apart dating back to the 1930s and 1970s.

How is it contracted?


As you learned in the previous paragraphs, this disease was originally contracted through contact with pigs.

This is still true today, working in close proximity of pigs and even visiting fairs and petting zoos where pigs are on display can cause you to contract this disease.

Humans can also infect pigs.

It is highly contagious, the same as other strains of flu.

Here are a few of the ways in which the Swine flu is contracted:

  • Sneezing or coughing on or near another person
  • Touching items that are holding traces of this disease and then touching the mouth or nose
  • Sharing drinks and utensils
  • Being in a closed in area with infected persons

Though there has been some worry over contracting the disease from foods, specifically pork products, there are no reported cases of contraction resulting this way.

What are the Signs of Swine Flu?

Knowing how this disease is spread is vital to staying healthy and helping others to remain healthy.

Most important though, is knowing the signs of the disease.

Its signs are so similar to those associated with the regular seasonal flu that it is often difficult to determine which you are dealing with.

How can you tell if you or a loved one is suffering from the everyday cold, the average flu or this dreaded strain of influenza virus?

Read on to learn the signs of this disease, be aware that they differ in adults and infants and children.

Signs of Swine Flu in Adults -

  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • A lack or complete loss of appetite
  • Coughing
  • Runny nose
  • Stuffy nose
  • Sore throat
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Body aches
  • Cold chills
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue

While the above signs can be confused with normal flu symptoms, if any of the following signs of this disease occur you should seek immediate medical attention:

  • Difficulty breathing and/or shortness of breath
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Pressure and/or pain in the chest or abdomen
  • Severe, continuous vomiting

Signs of Swine flu in Children -


  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Stuffy nose
  • Cold chills
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue In children
  • Upset stomach

Children's health is easily ruined by flues because of their naturally weaker immune systems.

If any of these signs appear, don't hesitate to get medical care for your child immediately:

  • Blue tint to the skin
  • Rashes
  • Increased breathing
  • Lack of alertness
  • Dehydration due to refusal of liquids.
  • Severe diarrhea
  • Severe vomiting

Getting medical attention early on is important in Swine flu cases.

In the few cases where death resulted, pneumonia had commonly developed after early signs of the flu had been ignored.

How can you Prevent Swine Flu?

We all want to stay healthy while this disease is on the move.

How can you do so?

Here are a some tips on prevention of this disease:

  • Carry hand sanitizer and wash hands regularly.
  • Avoid touching public writing instruments, toilets and sink handles.
  • Avoid traveling via public transportation.
  • Avoid lingering in high traffic areas.
  • Get into the habit of sneezing and coughing into the crook of your elbow to contain germs.
  • Refrain from sharing drinks and eating utensils, as well as greeting others with kisses on the cheeks and shaking hands.
  • Stay home from work or school if you feel as though you have the flu.
  • Monitor the progression of your symptoms and call your doctor if you believe you have contracted the flu before going to an emergency room, which could increase your chances of contracting the disease

Learn more about the Swine Flu and how it is affecting those in your area by staying up to date through local newspapers, the televised news and the CDC website.

Educating yourself on the flu itself, how it is and isn't contracted, symptoms and preventive measures will help you keep yourself and your family safe and healthy.

Quote by Albert Einstein

The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of human frame, and in the cause and prevention of disease.

Albert Einstein



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