Swine flu is an illness which derives its name from a communicable virus that infects pigs. Once it comes to humans, the the virus can be transmitted from one person to another.
The symptoms of swine flu are like those manifested in a regular flu and may include cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, fever, chills and fatigue.
While government agencies are working on control of the outbreak, it is also necessary for people to educate themselves about this disease.
First, it should be clear that Swine Flu is treatable. There are antiviral medicines that can be administered. Oseltamivir, amantadine, rimantadine, and zanamivir are the approved drugs for swine influenza treatment in the United States.
But, amantadine and rimantadine will not work against swine flu as the H1N1 virus was found to be resistant against these medicines. Laboratory procedures, on the other hand, have proven that H1N1 is susceptible to oseltavimir and zanavimir.
Antiviral drugs make the illness milder. Aside from that, antiviral medicines prevent the onset of serious complications.
Antiviral medicines are most effective when administered after the onset of the illness usually within a couple of days. However, it should be considered two days after the onset of symptoms, especially for hospitalized patients or those at greater risk for influenza-related complications.
Administration of anti viral drugs is also useful in preventing influenza when given to an individual who is not sick but has exposed to a person with swine influenza. For example health workers
Antiviral drugs can reduce the possibility of infection by 70% to 90%. The duration of drug administration will be determined by the condition of the patient.
As of now the vaccine for this disease is under development
- Keep yourself informed about H1N1 by visiting website of the WHO or check brochures from local hospitals or medical facilities.
- Wash your hands with soap and water after frequently.
- Keep your social visits minimum if there is an outbreak in your community.
- Avoid public transport, crowds and social gatherings.
- If you become ill, avoid contact with other people at work or school so as not to infect them.