With some much said and preached about the deadly swine flu we would like to give a quick guide on protecting you and your family.
Here are the top 10 facts you should know about the disease:
#1 Swine flu or H1N1 type A influenza is transmitted from people and NOT from pigs or swine.
#2 If you have good immunity, you may not be prone to swine flu.
#5 one cannot exactly know that he/she is suffering from swine flu because the symptoms are very similar to regular flu. If you have very high fever for more than a day or two, sudden breathlessness, you should contact your doctor immediately.
#6 If you already have fever, it’s better to stay at home in order to prevent the disease from spreading. Always cover your face while coughing and sneezing. Avoid touching your face, nose and eyes often. It can also spread through inanimate objects like the mobile phone, laptop etc. which we end up frequently using. So, it’s better to avoid using others’ belongings. In case of sore throat, gargle with warm salt water.
#7 It is possible to prevent swine flu. Maintain your health and immunity well. Eat healthy food, get good sleep, and avoid stress. Avoid visiting crowded public places if you can. If you do visit them, wash your hands and feet well. Better still, just take a shower.
#8 Though injectable vaccines (Influvac, Agrippal, Vaxigrip, Vaxiflu-S and Fluarix) against swine flu are available, the Government has ruled out universal vaccination for now and has recommended that it be used only for people who are actively treating the swine flu patients (doctors and other medical practitioners).
#10 There are certain antiviral drugs which help treat swine flu – Zanamivir (Relenza) and Oseltamivir (Tamiflu).One should take these only with a doctor’s prescription since indiscriminate use could lead to resistance to the virus. The patient will need to hospitalized, isolated and put on a ventilator in severe cases.
- It can spread through coughing and sneezing so always cover your face while doing so. And make sure people around you in office or home also follow this.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth too often
- Maintain a high level of personal hygiene. Always wash your hands before or after eating and particularly after returning from a public place.
- Sometimes virus can spread through droplets that have remained on surfaces of things like laptops, phones so avoid using someone else’s items.
- Avoid public places, unhygienic conditions, etc.
- If your city/area is swine-flu endemic, always wear a standard swine flu mask in public places (the H-95 mask which is worn by nurses and doctors while collecting samples from swine flu victims). Normal surgical masks which sell like hot cakes during swine flu season might not give enough protection.
- If you feel sick and look like you are developing a cold or fever, stay at home and take enough rest. Rest has also been shown to increase ‘interferon’ which help our immunity to fight the virus better. Keeping away from others also prevents spread of the infection.
And lastly how to prevent the virus from spreading from the upper respiratory tract:
- Gargling with warm water in which a little salt is added; several times a day acts like an irritants for the virus and washes it off.
- Drinking lots of warm water and other warm fluids wash off the virus into the stomach where they cannot survive.
Stay safe. stay healthy. take care!