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What is Swine Flu?

New Delhi, Mon, 11 Feb 2013 NI Wire

Swine Flu also known as swine influenza, pig flu, hog flu, pig influenza and hog influenza is a respiratory disease spreads from persons to persons and pigs to pigs more commonly and pigs to persons very rarely. Swine flu spreads from 2009 H1N1 type A influenza virus which is also known as "novel H1N1" or nH1N1, "quadruple assortant H1N1," and "2009 pandemic H1N1."

Though Swine flu does not spread from eating pork and ham, but those who live with swine like farmers or have more exposure to pigs are more prone to become infected.

Very few cases have been seen of spreading infection from swine to human, but Swine Flu epidemic spread from infected persons to others.

Earlier, it was uncommon to see the infection of spreading Swine flu from pigs to humans.

Swine flu, also known as 2009 H1N1 type A influenza, is a human disease. People get the disease from other people, not from pigs. However, scientists are still arguing about what the virus should be called, but most people know it as the H1N1 swine flu virus.

The virus that spreads influenza in swine and H1N1 infection in human, are different as according to scientists, the epidemic that spreads epidemic in Human beings in 2009 occurred due to the tendency of changing characteristics in cross- species (Pigs to human and human to pigs or human to bird flu).

Swine flu is transmitted from person to person by inhalation or ingestion of droplets containing virus from people sneezing or coughing. The recent study have shown that pregnant women are more prone to swine flu.

Swine influenza virus was first isolated from pigs in 1930 in the U.S. and has been recognized by pork producers and veterinarians to cause infections in pigs worldwide.

The symptoms of swine flu are not far different in human beings and pigs. There are some common symptoms seen in the infected persons:

  • Cough
  • Sore Throat
  • Runny nose
  • Body aches
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Fatigue

The less common symptoms include diarrhea and vomiting. Like seasonal flu, pandemic swine flu can cause neurologic symptoms in children. Patients can get pneumonia (bacterial secondary infection) if the viral infection persists, and some can develop seizures.

Diagnosis

Swine flu cannot be easily diagnosed from the above signs and symptoms but conducting Real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) it can be detected.

Treatment

Vaccines are available for different kinds of Swine Flu and if persons get injection of Swine Flu, they can get enough anti-bodies against the virus. But, there is no accurate cure is available for swine flu. Instead, anti-viral drugs are prescribed to decrease the severity of the disease. Usually an anti-viral drug, used in Tami Flu has been prescribed most of the time as since now, it has been proved most effective.

In August 2010, the World Health Organization declared the swine flu pandemic officially over.


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