Monday, August 10, 2009

Swine Flu - H1N1 Flu

H1N1 - Swine Flu

What is novel H1N1 (swine flu)?
Novel H1N1 (referred to as “swine flu” early on) is a new influenza virus causing illness in people. This new virus was first detected in people in the United States in April 2009. This virus is spreading from person-to-person worldwide, probably in much the same way that regular seasonal influenza viruses spread. On June 11, 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) signaled that a pandemic of novel H1N1 flu was underway.

H1N1 Influenza virus imageWhy is novel H1N1 virus sometimes called “swine flu”?
This virus was originally referred to as “swine flu” because laboratory testing showed that many of the genes in this new virus were very similar to influenza viruses that normally occur in pigs (swine) in North America. But further study has shown that this new virus is very different from what normally circulates in North American pigs. It has two genes from flu viruses that normally circulate in pigs in Europe and Asia and bird (avian) genes and human genes. Scientists call this a "quadruple reassortant" virus.

More details: http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/qa.htm

Prevention & Treatment


What can I do to protect myself from getting sick?
There is no vaccine available right now to protect against novel H1N1 virus. However, a novel H1N1 vaccine is currently in production and may be ready for the public in the fall. As always, a vaccine will be available to protect against seasonal influenza
There are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like influenza.

Take these everyday steps to protect your health:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • 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. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.) Keep away from others as much as possible to keep from making others sick.

In children, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish or gray skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough

In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
Symptoms:

What are the signs and symptoms of this virus in people?

The symptoms of novel H1N1 flu virus in people include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. A significant number of people who have been infected with this virus also have reported diarrhea and vomiting. Severe illnesses and death has occurred as a result of illness associated with this virus.

Swine flu - prevention, Different types of mask that may Protect You from swineflu

THE SURGICAL MASK

This mask prevents droplets and viruses that are more than 4 microns in diameter, like the influenza virus which causes the common cold, from passing through. Best used outdoors and on public transport. Made of paper with a gelatinous layer.

Advantages

Comfortable, provides ventilation. Can fit everybody as the straps can be adjusted to fit each head size. Even children can wear it.

Disadvantages

Should be changed every four hours, or once it becomes wet with fluid. Difficult for people wearing secs as vapour will keep forming on their lenses.

THE PAPER MASK

This mask will not give much protection against swine flu or H1N1 viruses. They do not have a filter. Unlike the three-ply surgical mask. Anything with a diameter less than 5 microns will be able to pass through the paper and into the respiratory system.

Advantages

Ok for minimal use. People serving food can use it for hygiene. Not useful for those who have a cough or cold.

Disadvantages

Hardly any protection against viruses. Can tear easily because of moisture from saliva.

THE N-95 MASK

Very effective in catching very small particles as the material used to make this mask generates static electricity. Particles above 0.3 micron cannot pass through. Used to protect against highly transmissible respiratory infections such as tb.

Advantages

Made using a nonwoven technology of polypropylene fiber, that increases the density and filtering function.

Disadvantages

Breathing difficulties. Children may not be able to cover up the nose and mouth completely.

Source: http://blogs.mybandra.com/2009/08/08/swine-flu-h1n1-different-types-of-mask-that-may-protect-you-from-swine-flu-h1n1-virus/

Also read: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swine_influenza

Posted 'Swine Flu' article on Public Interest

1 comment:

Anent Prakash said...

Ten Important Tips To Avoid Swine Flu

1. Wash your hands frequently
Use the 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 water
Drink 8 to 10 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, colorful 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 alcohol
Apart from being a mood depressant, alcohol is an immune suppressant that can actually decrease your resistance to viral infections like swine flu. So stay away from alcoholic drinks so that your immune system may be strong.

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 sick people
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 is sick, try to stay a few feet away from them and especially, avoid physical contact.

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.

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