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Swine Flu Symptoms

Swine flu is a type of virus. It's named for a virus that infects mainly pigs. It normally does not infect people, but human infections can and do happen. The virus is contagious and can spread from human to human. The current swine influenza A (H1N1) virus has components of pig and bird influenza viruses in it, so the humans don't have any immunity to it. That makes it more likely to become a pandemic virus (have the ability to cause a global outbreak) if it can easily spread from person-to-person. There are antiviral medicines you can take to prevent or treat swine flu. This particular virus is resistant to the antiviral medications amantadine (Symmetrel) and rimantadine (Flumadine), but is sensitive to oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza). There is no vaccine available right now to protect against swine flu.


The symptoms of swine flu are very similar to the common flu that occurs in humans. The symptoms are mostly fever, cold, cough, runny nose, body aches, diarrhea, vomiting, headache etc. In swine flu the symptoms might be more severe like breathlessness, very high grade fever, loss of appetite and fluid intake, listlessness etc. The important fact is to prevent the spread of this infection. Since it spreads through fomites i.e. through air, infected articles like tissue, paper, pen etc, the preventive measures are very important.

Prevent spread

The measures that can be taken to prevent spread of this particular swine flu are –
1. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.

2. Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. You can also use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
4. Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
5. Stay home from work or school if you are sick. 6 Consult a doctor immediately when in doubt about your symptoms.

Important thing to remember is that people with swine flu are likely contagious for one day before and up to seven days after they began to get sick with swine flu symptoms. Also, anti-flu medications, including Tamiflu (oseltamivir) and Relenza (zanamivir), are available to prevent and treat swine flu.

  © Mirza Rais 2009

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