H1N1 flu, also called swine flu, is a respiratory disease of pigs that has now spread to humans.
"Swine" refers to animals such as pigs, hogs, and boars.
"Flu" is an abbreviation of influenza.
"H1N1" is the name of the virus that has spread to humans
People do not normally get swine flu viruses, but human infections can and do happen. Beginning in late march 2009, cases of humans infected with the H1N1flu virus have been reported in the USA and internationally.
This health education program explains What the H1N1 FLU IS.
It discusses its symptoms, when to seek medical help, and its treatment options. It also provides important prevention tips.
Viruses are very small living particles. This section reviews information about viruses that will help you understand the H1N1 flu virus.
H1N1 Flu Infections:
Influenza viruses happen naturally among pigs, hogs, and boars. Swine influenza is very contagious among swine. It can make some domesticated pigs very sick.
It is unusual for humans to catch swine flu viruses, but occasional cases happen, Usually in people who have contact with infected pigs. Swine flu viruses have also been reported to spread from person to person in the past, but previous episodes of
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The recent infections are caused by a new strain of swine flu virus Known as Type A,, Subtype H1N1. That is why this flu is called influenza A H1N1, or simply H1N1 flu . This new strain seems to be progressing rapidly and humans have not yet had a chance to develop antibodies or protection against it.
Flu viruses are spread mainly from person to person when infected people cough or sneeze. Sometimes people may become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.
You cannot get the H1N1 flu from eating cooked pork. Infected people may be able to infect others beginning one day before symptoms develop and up to seven or more days after becoming sick. Children, especially younger children, might be contagious for longer periods.
The most common symptoms of H1N1 influenza in humans are similar to typical human flu and include:
- Sore throat
- Body aches
Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with H1N1 flu.
People who have chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes, congestive heart failure, etc. many notice a worsening of their medical conditions.
If you have severe symptoms, your doctor can test if flu symptoms are caused by H1N1 flu.
This section discusses when you or your child should seek medical help. You should watch for flu-like signs. These signs are fever; body aches runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Signs of the flue are often mild and do not require medical evaluation in the clinic. When the symptoms are mild, it is important to keep yourself hydrated, get plenty of rest, and practice good hand hygiene. You should seek medical care if your or your child develops any of the "emergency warnings signs". Some of the "emergency warning signs" that require urgent medical attention are listed next.
In children, some emergency warning signs include:
-Fast breathing or trouble breathing
- Bluish skin color
-Not drinking enough fluids
- High or prolonged fever.
You should also seek immediate medical attention if you notice changes in your child's mental status, such as:
- Not waking up
- Not interacting
- Extreme irritability and no wanting to be held
In adults, some emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:
-Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
-Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
-Near-fainting or fainting
-Server or persistent vomiting
-High or prolonged fever.
If you or your child have flu-like symptoms that get better but then come back with a fever and a worse cough, seek medical attention as soon as possible.
When you arrive, tell the receptionist or nurse about your symptoms. You may be asked to wear a mask and sit in a separate area to protect others from getting sick.
Which treatment is appropriate for you is based on the severity of your illness and your doctor may consult with an infectious disease specialist to determine the best treatment.
Antiviral drug approved for human influenza viruses should work in treating H1N1 influenza infection in humans. However, there are no known medications that treat H1N1 influenza infection specifically.
Antiviral drugs are prescriptions medications that can help the flu by keeping flu viruses from reproducing in your body. These include pills, liquids, or inhalers.
Antiviral medications are currently recommended only for those patients with moderate or severe illness for H1N1 flu. Most people get better without antiviral medicines.
Antiviral medications must be taken within 48 hours after symptoms appear. They may diminish your symptoms, but they may not make your symptoms go away entirely.
Other flu treatments that should work for H1N1 flu include rest, medications to bring down a high fever, and drinking plenty of water.
If complications happen and you become very sick, hospitalization may be needed.
Hospitalized patients may be given oxygen or use a respirator.
Children or teenagers with the flu should get plenty of rest and drink lots of liquids. The medicines that they take to relieve their symptoms should not contain aspirin. Never give aspirin to children or Teenagers who have fu-like symptoms, especially a fever, without first speaking to your healthcare provider. Giving aspirin to children and teenagers who have influenza can cause rare but serious illness called Reye syndrome.
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