Swine Flu Symptoms & Facts
Swine influenza/flu is a respiratory disorder of pigs caused by type A influenza viruses that regularly cause outbreaks of influenza in pigs. They are called “swine flu viruses” or “swine influenza viruses.” There are different strains & sub types of swine flu viruses. The main swine flu viruses observed in recent years are swine triple reassortant (tr) H1N1 influenza virus, trH3N2 virus, and trH1N2 virus. The Swine flu symptoms are the same as normal flu. They’re usually mild and progress within a week or so. But as with all types of flu, some people – particularly those with underlying health issues – are at higher risk of serious ailment.
Swine flu (H1N1 and H3N2v influenza virus) facts
Here are some key points about swine flu. More detail and supporting information is in the main article.
Swine flu is a respiratory disease caused by influenza viruses that infect the respiratory tract of pigs and result in a barking cough, decreased hunger, nasal secretions, and lethargic behaviour; the virus can be passed to humans.
- Swine flu viruses may mutate (change) so that they are easily transmissible among humans.
- Swine flu symptoms in humans are similar to most influenza ailments such as fever (<100 F), cough, nasal discharge, exhaustion, and headache.
- The incubation period for the disease is about 1-4 days.
- Swine flu is communicable about one day before swine flu symptoms develop to about five to seven days after symptoms develop, some people may be infectious for a longer time.
- It lasts about 3-7 days with more serious infections lasting about 9- 10 days.
- Vaccination/immunization is the best way to prevent or reduce the chances of becoming infected.
- Primary care specialists, emergency-medicine doctors, and pediatricians treat the infection, but other specialists may be consulted if the flu is complicated.
- Two antiviral medications, zanamivir (Relenza)& oseltamivir (Tamiflu), have been reported to help prevent or reduce the effects of swine flu if taken within 48 hours of the onset of swine flu symptoms.
- Home remedies are available, but patients should check with their doctors before use; over-the-counter medications may help reduce swine flu symptoms.
- The most serious issue of the flu is pneumonia.
How is swine flu transmitted?
Swine flu is transmitted from person to person by inhalation or ingestion of
droplets containing virus from people sneezing/coughing; it is not caused by eating cooked pork products. The newest swine flu virus is influenza A H3N2v(H3N2v) that began as an outbreak in 2011. The “v” in the name means the virus is a variant that normally infects only pigs but has begun to infect humans.
What is the incubation period for swine flu?
The incubation period for swine flu is about 1-4 days, with the average being 2 days; in some people, it may be as long as about 7 days in adults and children.
What is the contagious period for swine flu?
The contagious period in adults usually begins one day before swine flu symptoms develop and it lasts about 5-7 days after the person becomes sick. However, people with weak immune system and children may be infectious for a longer period of time about 10 – 14 days.
How long does the swine flu last?
In uncomplicated infections, swine flu typically begins to resolve after 3-7 days, but the malaise & cough can persist 2 weeks or more in some patients. Severe swine flu may require hospitalization that increases the length of time of infection to about 9-10 days.
How do you catch it?
The same way as the seasonal flu. When people who have it cough or sneeze, they spray tiny drops of the virus into the air. If you come in contact with these particles, touch a surface where the drops landed, or touch something an infected person has recently touched, you can catch H1N1flu.
People who have it can transmit it one day before they have any swine flu symptoms and as many as 7 days after they get sick. Kids can be contagious for as long as 10 days.
What are swine flu symptoms and signs?
The swine flu symptoms usually develop within 1-3 days of becoming infected. Most people will feel better within a week. However, you may have a persistent cough and weakness for a further couple of weeks. These, too, are pretty much the same as seasonal flu.
Swine flu symptoms include:
- Fatigue & headache
- Dry, chesty cough
- sneezing & nasal secretions
- difficulty sleeping
- Some patients develop severe respiratory symptoms,
- such as shortness of breath,
- Patients can get pneumonia (bacterial secondary infection) if the viral infection persists
- some can develop seizures
Like the regular flu, swine flu can lead to more serious problems including pneumonia, a lung infection, and some other breathing problems. And it can make an illness like diabetes or asthma worse.
If you have symptoms like shortness of breath, severe vomiting, pain in your belly or sides, dizziness, or confusion, call your doctor right away.
Tests for Swine Flu
Without Swine flu Test, it’s hard to tell whether you have swine flu or seasonal flu, because most symptoms are the same.Doctor runs a swab -up the inside of your nose around the back of your throat . But the test isn’t as common as those for regular flu. Therefore the only people who really need to be tested are those in the hospital or those at high risk for swine flu, such as:
- Children under 5 years old
- People 65 years or older
- Pregnant women
- Children and teens (under 18) who are getting long-term aspirin therapy and who might be at risk for Reye’s syndrome after being infected with swine flu. Reye’s syndrome is a life-threatening illness linked to aspirin use in children.
- Adults and children with chronic lung, liver, heart, nervous system, blood, metabolic, or neuro-muscular issues.
- Adults and children with weak immune system.
- People who take medications to suppress their immune systems
- People who have HIV.
- People in hospitals, nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
What types of Medical Practitioner/Doctor treat swine flu?
Patients with minor swine flu infection can be treated at home or by the pediatrician, primary-care provider, or emergency-medicine doctor. For more severe swine flu infections, specialists such as critical-care specialists, infectious-disease specialists, or lung specialists may be consulted.
What is the treatment for swine flu?
Some of the antiviral medicines that are used to treat seasonal flu also work against H1N1 swine flu. These medications can help you get well faster. They work best when you get them within 48 hours of the first swine flu symptoms, but they can help even if you take them later on.
As the flu is caused by a virus, not bacteria, Therefore Antibiotics won’t do anything for you. Make sure that over-the-counter cold medications do not have aspirin before giving them to children under age 18 because of the risk of Reye’s syndrome.
Managing your swine flu symptoms at home
- If you’re otherwise healthy, you can take care of yourself at home by keeping warm, resting, and drinking ample water to avoid
- If you have a fever, you can take paracetamol or anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen to reduce your temperature and relieve pain. Kids & teens under 18 shouldn’t be given aspirin.
- Stay off work, school or public places. For most people, this will take about a week. See your Doctor if your symptoms get worse or last longer than a week.
Swine Flu Vaccines
Spread the Fact Not the Germ-Protect Yourself from Flu
What Vaccine to Give and When – Immunization Vaccination Schedule
How Do Vaccines Help My Child?
Vaccination TIPs …
Flu Measures to Take, Symptoms and Risk Factors
AllizHealth provides you with tools and tracker to keep a tap on yours and your family’s health, It also provides services like online booking of health packages, access to fitness and wellness centers or consulting a doctor for second opinion. Click here to use AllizHealth Portal.
Now you can keep a track of your loved one’s health and live a happy life. Reduce fear of losing or misplacing vital health information. Manage self and family health data and access from anywhere in the world. Click here to use Digital Health Wallet.
Labkhoj is health check-up and lab discovery platform where You can search, compare and book health test and package in your location at a discounted price. Click here to Book Health Tests.