Swine Flu Vaccines, Swine Flu Symptoms, Swine flu Scare, Swine Flu IndiaH1N1 (Swine Flu) Virus: Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is the H1N1 (Swine Flu) Virus?
A. H1N1 (also referred to as "Swine Flu") is a new, contagious, influenza virus.
Q. What are the symptoms of infection?
A. Fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people report diarrhoea and vomiting as well.
Q. How does the virus spread from person to person?
A. It is most likely spreading from person to person in the same way seasonal flu viruses spread: through infectious respiratory droplets. They are expelled when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. If these droplets get into a healthy person's nose or mouth, they can get infected. Sometimes people get infected when they touch something with flu virus on it, and then touch their mouth or nose. Flu viruses can live on objects (doorknobs, keyboards, counters, etc.) for hours.
Q. How does I avoid getting infected?
A. Follow some simple precautions:
1. Wash your hands frequently
--Use antibacterial soaps to cleanse your hands. Wash them often, at least 15 seconds and rinse with running water.
2. Get enough sleep
--Try to get 8 hours of good sleep every night to keep your immune system in top flu-fighting shape.
3. Drink sufficient fluids
--Drink 8 to10 glasses of water each day to flush toxins from your system and maintain good moisture and mucous production in your sinuses.
4. Boost your immune system
--Keeping your body strong, nourished, and ready to fight infection is important in flu prevention. So stick with whole grains, colourful vegetables, and vitamin-rich fruits.
5. Keep informed
--The government is taking necessary steps to prevent the pandemic and periodically release guidelines to keep the pandemic away. Please make sure to keep up to date on the information and act in a calm manner.
6. Avoid excessive alcohol
--Apart from being a mood depressant, excessive hard liquor is an immune suppressant that can actually decrease your resistance to viral infections like swine flu. So stay away from excessive hard alcoholic drinks so that your immune system may be strong. Red wines are recommended, though, upto 100ml a day.
7. Be physically active
--Moderate exercise can support the immune system by increasing circulation and oxygenating the body. For example brisk walking for 30-40 minutes 3-4 times a week will significantly perk up your immunity.
8. Keep away from people with flu-like symptoms
--Flu virus spreads when particles dispersed into the air through a cough or sneeze reach someone else nose. So if you have to be around someone who has flu-like symptoms, try to stay a few feet away from them and especially, avoid physical contact. Wear N95 approved nose/mouth masks.
9. Know when to get help
--Consult your doctor if you have a cough and fever and follow their instructions, including taking medicine as prescribed.
10. Avoid crowded areas
--Try to avoid unnecessary trips outside.
Q. Are there medicines to treat infection?
A. Oseltamvir and Zanamvir (also called "Tami-flu") are recommended for treatment and/or prevention of infection.
Q. If I get flu-like symptoms, what do I do?
A. First, consult a doctor immediately. Get tested for the H1N1 virus. Follow precautions to prevent infecting others:
1. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze..
-- Throw the tissue in the trash after use.
2. Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze.
-- Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, as the germs spread this way.
3. Stay home for 7 days after your symptoms began, or until you have been symptom-free for 24 hours, whichever is longer.
4. Seek emergency medical attention if you have any of the following symptoms:
* Fast breathing or trouble breathing
* Bluish or gray skin colour
* Not drinking enough fluids
* Not waking up or not interacting
* Improvement of symptoms, but later return with fever and worse cough
* Fever with a rash
* Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
* Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
* Sudden dizziness or confusion
* Severe or persistent comiting