Protect Yourself from Swine Flu ( Influenza – A H1N1)
Swine Flu outbreak in India is at a critical level with dead toll reaching 1,587. Last week India reported 199 deaths. Till March 11, 27,888 cases and 1,587 deaths have been reported from all 36 states and UTs except five, shows data from the Union Ministry of Health. Over the past 24 hours, 20 deaths were reported from across India.
The swine flu outbreak devastated five states, with Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana accounting for 78% of the total deaths till March 8.The only states/UTs untouched by swine flu with no cases or deaths are Arunachal, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Tripura and Lakshwadeep.
Brief History about H1N1
Swine flu also known as Influenza – A (H1N1) or pig influenza, or hog flu and pig flu, is an infection caused by any one of several types of swine influenza viruses. First detected in Mexico in April, 2009, it has spread to many countries in the World. Swine flu is basically a misnomer. This was originally referred to as “swine flu” because laboratory testing showed that many of the genes in this new virus were very similar to those found in pigs in North America.
It has been found that this new virus has gene segments from the swine, avian and human flu virus genes. The scientists calls this a ‘quadruple reassortant” virus and hence this new (novel) virus is christened “influenza-A (H1N1) virus.”
H1N1 virus is similar to those of influenza and of influenza-like illness in general. Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue.
The most common cause of death is respiratory failure. Other causes of death are pneumonia (leading to sepsis), high fever (leading to neurological problems), dehydration (from excessive vomiting and diarrhea), electrolyte imbalance and kidney failure. Fatalities are more likely in young children and the elderly.
Preventions and precautions:
Cover your mouth & nose with handkerchief or tissue paper while coughing, stay at least an arm’s length from persons coughing or sneezing, avoid gatherings and wash your hands frequently. Try to stay in good general health. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.
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