- Symptoms: Swine flu symptoms are similar to the symptoms of regular flu and include fever of over 100.4°F, fatigue, lack of appetite, and cold. Some people with swine flu have also reported runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. Nearly everyone with flu has at least two of these symptoms. You can read more about it here.
Though it can infect anybody but kids and pregnant women are more prone to this virus.
Relevant websites: Though lots of websites are available but I found the following two websites to be most comprehensive ones, you can get to know almost everything at one place.
Swine flu H1N1 virus is highly contagious and is spreading from person to person. Swine flu H1N1 spreads in the same way as ordinary colds and flu. The H1N1 virus is spread through the droplets that come out of the nose or mouth when someone coughs or sneezes. If someone coughs or sneezes and they do not cover it, those droplets can spread Swine flu H1N1 about one metre (3ft). If you are very nearby you might breathe them in. Or, if someone coughs or sneezes into their hand, those droplets and the virus within them are easily transferred to surfaces that the person touches, such as door handles, hand rails, telephones and keyboards. If you touch these surfaces and touch your face, the virus can enter your system, and you can become infected.
Though take appropriate precaution but most importantly, don’t panic unnecessarily. Not every running nose or fever is swine flu. These can be symptoms of general flu as well!
Here is a video on What to do if you get swine flu H1N1-Video Courtesy (Rediff.com)
Stay Cool, Follow These 7 Steps
We are sure you won’t catch swine flu. But in case you have symptoms that are worrying you, here are 7 emergency steps that you need to know
If you have symptoms like fever, cough, sore throat, cold and running nose, consult your family doc. If he says so, visit the nearest designated government testing centre or hospital for a check up. Your risk is higher if you have developed the symptoms after returning from an infected country or have met a person who has tested positive for H1N1
If it looks like you’re one of the unlucky ones, wear a mask while moving out of the house. In case infected, you could spread H1N1 through coughing or sneezing. Private hospitals or labs are still not authorised to test patients for H1N1
After clinical assessment, the designated medical officer would decide whether the symptoms would require sample collection and testing. The doctor will check you for symptoms of pneumonia, infection of the chest, fever and ask your travel history
If it’s found that
you need testing, throat and nasal samples will be collected and you will be asked to go home and stay indoors for seven days. In case the patient looks serious, he will be admitted in the hospital right away, while his samples are tested
Sample testing will
take 24-48 hours. If found positive, the sample is then tested for H1 and swine A virus. Meantime, you will be called back and immediately started on treatment of Tamilfu – one tablet twice a day for 5 days. All your contacts will also be traced and checked for symptoms.
(Infected people are liable to infect others from the day before symptoms develop and up to 7 or 8 days after becoming sick. In short, you’re liable to pass on the flu to someone before you know you are sic. That’s why H1N1 is so very infectious)
If you have a mild
infection, you would be given the option of admission into the hospital or isolation and treatment at your own house. If you chose the latter, you and your attendant will have to wear a three layer mask at all times, and confine yourself to a room. Obviously, you can’t go out or meet guests. Your family members will also be given a prophylaxis course of Tamilfu. Avoid meeting high risk groups in your family like small children, people with heart disease or pregnant women. In case you feel respiratory distress or your nails turn blue, immediately report back to the government hospital
After seven days, in hospital or at home, you will de declared fit and discharged if you show no more symptoms