Swine flu

  • By Team TDO

Signs and symptoms

Some of the major signs and symptoms of swine flu are fever, sore throat, cough, chills, body ache, headache and running nose. Signs and symptoms usually appear one to three days after exposure. Signs and symptoms gradually subside in a healthy individual. But in pregnant ladies and patients with associated respiratory infections need advice from medical personnel. The infection is transmitted via inhalation route i.e. with respiration. It does not transmit with food.

Risk factors

Travelling into an area where large number of people is infected with the disease increases the risk for development of swine flu. Swine farmers and veterinary experts carry an increased risk.

Complications

Patients suffering from any other chronic illness have increased chance of aggravation of signs and symptoms of pre-existing illness. These patients may develop pneumonia and respiratory failure.

Management

Most of the cases of swine flu require only symptomatic treatment. For management of fever paracetamol is prescribed by the doctor. Like wise for sore throat warm saline gargle is advised. Paracetamol is also helpful to alleviate symptoms like body ache and headache.

Patients in high risk category require treatment with specific anti-viral drugs. High risks patients are young children, elderly subjects, pregnant ladies, patients with pre-existing respiratory illness like asthma etc, elderly patients with chronic heart diseases and hospitalized patients.

Specific anti-viral drugs used are oseltamivir and zanamivir. These drug should never be self administered. These drugs are always prescribed by the treating physicians. The dose of these drugs depends on the age and body weight of the patients and calculated by the treating physician as per the recommended guidelines.

Do's in swine flu

  1. Consume plenty of liquid – Patients of swine flu must consume plenty of liquid. Adequate water, fruit juice or soup should be consumed. Care must be taken to prevent development of dehydration. Dehydration always worsens the clinical condition of the patient.
  2. Rest- During the period of active illness adequate rest must be taken by the patients. All forms of physical exertion should be avoided to prevent worsening of signs and symptoms of the disease.
  3. Advice of the doctor should be followed properly.

Don'ts in swine flu

  1. Self medication must not be practiced.
  2. Standard guideline issued the government officials must not be disobeyed.

Prevention

Various preventive measures may be adopted to prevent the spread of the disease.

  1. Vaccination- Subjects may receive vaccination as per the guidelines and advice of the physician to get protection against swine flu.
  2. Patients of swine flu must stay at home during the period of active illness to prevent spread of the disease.
  3. Normal healthy subjects should avoid contact with the patients of swine flu.
  4. All subjects should wash their hands properly and thoroughly.

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