Swine Flu (H1N1)
Swine flu is a highly contagious respiratory infection caused by one of the several swine influenza A viruses.

How it is transmitted:
•Inhalation or ingestion of droplets containing virus from people sneezing or coughing
• Coming into contact with an object or surface that is contaminated with the virus and then touching your mouth, eyes or nose

How it is not transmitted:
• Swine flu is not transmitted by consuming pork if it has been cooked properly

Common Symptoms of H1N1:
• High Fever usually 101 degrees Fahrenheit or more
• Dry cough
• Vomit & Diarrhoea
• Tiredness and loss of appetite
• Severe headache
• Severe discomfort in the chest
• Severe aches
• Chills (in most cases)

Diagnosis:
By analysing in the lab – nose or throat swab from the infected person.

Treatment:
The treatment for swine flu is largely supportive. Antiviral medications such as oseltamivir (Tamiflu) may be prescribed to help reduce some of the symptoms.
Supportive care includes:
• Getting lots of bed rest
• Increasing fluid consumption

Prevention:
• Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and warm water
• Cover your nose and mouth with tissue while sneezing since the virus can spread when particles are dispersed into the air through a a cough or sneeze
• Avoid touching your nose, eyes and mouth
• Keep yourself hydrated
• Stay at home if you fall sick and avoid physical contact with anyone around you who is unwell
• Get adequate rest to boost your immune system

Difference between common cold, seasonal flu and swine flu:
___Onset of Symptoms___
Common cold: A few days
Seasonal flu: Symptoms develop over a few days
Swine flu: Rapid onset of symptoms (high fever, aches etc) usually within 3 to 5 hours.

___Diarrhoea___
Common cold: Not present
Seasonal flu: Usually, present
Swine flu: Severe diarrhoea and vomit are common

___Chills___
Common cold: Not common
Seasonal flu: Mild to moderate
Swine flu: Majority (about 60%) experience chills

___Cough___
Common cold: Mucus-producing cough
Seasonal flu:  Dry cough
Swine flu: Dry cough

___Sneezing___
Common cold: Commonly present
Seasonal flu: Commonly present
Swine flu: Sneezing is not common

___Aches___
Common cold: Slight body ache
Seasonal flu: Moderate body ache
Swine flu: Severe body ache and pain are common

___Tiredness___
Common cold: Usually, mild tiredness
Seasonal flu: Moderate
Swine flu: Moderate to severe tiredness

___Sore Throat___
Common cold: Commonly present
Seasonal flu: Commonly present
Swine flu: Not commonly present

Team Ovum Hospitals