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SWINE FLU Mail to Me   

What is swine flu?

Like people, pigs can also get influenza (flu), but swine flu viruses are not the same as human flu viruses. Swine flu doesn't often infect people, and the rare human cases that have occurred in the past, have mainly affected people who had direct contact with pigs. But the current ‘swine flu’ outbreak is different.

Cause :

swine flu is caused by a new swine flu virus that has changed in ways that allow it to spread from person to person and it's happening among people who haven't had any contact with pigs.

That makes it a human flu virus. To distinguish it from flu viruses that infect mainly pigs and from the seasonal influenza A H1N1 viruses that have been in circulation for many years, the CDC calls the virus "novel influenza A (H1N1) virus" and the World Health Organization calls it as "pandemic (H1N1) 2009".

The CDC calls swine flu illness "H1N1 flu" and the World Health Organization calls it "pandemic influenza A (H1N1)".

 

H1N1 virus

Symptoms of swine flu :

Regular flu symptoms and include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue are the main symptoms of swine flu . Many people with swine flu have had diarrhea and vomiting too. Nearly everyone with flu has at least two of these symptoms. But these symptoms can also be caused by many other conditions. Health care professionals may offer a rapid flu test, although a negative result doesn't necessarily mean,one does not have the flu.

Neurologic symptoms :

Like seasonal flu, pandemic swine flu can cause neurologic symptoms in children. These events are rare, but, as cases associated with seasonal flu have shown, they can be very severe and often fatal.
Symptoms include seizures or changes in mental status like confusion or sudden cognitive or behavioral changes. It's not clear why these symptoms occur, although they may be caused by Reye's syndrome.It usually occurs in children with a viral illness who have taken aspirin, something that should always be avoided.

Laboratory Tests :

Only laboratory tests can definitively show whether it is swine flu. State health departments can do these tests. But given the large volume of samples coming in to state labs, these tests are being reserved for patients with severe flu symptoms. Currently, doctors are reserving antiviral drugs for people with or at risk of severe influenza.

Main symptoms of swine flu in Human

Precautions Against Swine Flu While You're in
Treatment for Breast Cancer

Everybody should be using some basic precautions to avoid catching swine flu - but if you're in treatment for breast cancer, you may want to be extra careful. Chemotherapy treatments can lower your immune system and cause you to be neutropenic. When that happens, your defense against any germs are not sufficient to protect you nor to help you recover in a timely way. In this case, your best defense is to avoid situations where germs are likely to be plentiful. When your blood counts return to normal, just use common sense to keep away from germs.

Here's some ways to take precautions :

  • Stay home whenever possible. Ask your support team to get groceries, walk your dog, bring work home from the office, or whatever else you can delegate.
  • If you develop a fever of 100.5F or higher, call your doctor right away (day or night) and start drinking plenty of fluids. Stay well hydrated and get a diagnosis and treatment for whatever is causing your fever.
  • If you cough or sneeze, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue and then toss it out. No tissues handy? Turn your face into the crook of your elbow, to keep germs from flying away.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol sanitizer - this will kill most germs.
  • Avoid people who have a fever, cough, or sneezing, or complain of any flu-like symptoms
  • If you feel like you are developing flu symptoms, don't wait to see if it will just go away. Call your doctor or nurse practitioner and ask for advice or an appointment.

Radiation treatments for breast cancer can cause you to have swallowing problems, cough, or shortness of breath. This is because radiation may affect your esophagus, throat, or lungs. Let your doctor know, if you're having these problems. This kind of cough is not a flu symptom, but if you are concerned about your cough or any other symptoms, such as fatigue, pain, or skin changes, you should ask your doctor for help.

General Healthy Tips :

There is no vaccine available right now to protect against H1 N1 (swine) flu. There are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of genus rliar cause respiratory illnesses like influenza. Take these everyday steps to protect your health:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when yon cough or sneeze.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If you get sick with influenza, you should stay at home and not go for work or school and limit contact with others to prevent them from getting infected by you.
  • Reduce the time spent in the crowded settings,
  • Improve airflow in the living space by opening the windows and proper ventilation.
  • F'i'actice good health hah its including adequate sleep, earing nutritious food, and keeping physically active,

 

Healthy Tips when you travel :

DO YOU REALLY NEED TO TRAVEL?

  • Before any travel to affected area
  • Educate you rself an d others travel! n g with yo u
  • Take specific vaccinations as i'ecom mended by CDC of both LIS and Thailand
  • Check your health insurance plan
  • During travel to an affected area
  • Avoid ail direct contact with pigs and visiting the farms
  • Practice careful and frequent hand washing
  • Consume thoroughly cooked food After your return
  • Monitor your health for 10 days
  • If you become ill with high fever consult a doctor immediately,

Precautions to be followed before you fall sick :

  • Precautions to be followed before you fall sick
  • Drink more hot water.
  • Avoid cold drinks, Lassi, Icecreams.
  • Take a glass of drinking water.
  • Add full spoon of the following ingredients in the water.
  • Black Pepper (Kali mirch)
  • Ginger or Soonth
  • Tulsi leaves
  • Cow Ghee
  • Sugar
  • Boil water till the level of water becomes half.
  • Finally filter the Water and drink.

Prevention of Swine Flue using Household Products :

Inhale Clove Oil (Lavang) For 1 Second

  • Chew 1 Clove In a DayEat Raw Garlic (Lasun)(1 to 5gm)
  • Eat Onion
  • Eat Ginger (Aale) (1 to 5gm)
  • Eat Lemon/Avala
  • Consume Plenty Of Vit C Fmits
  • Consume Tulsi + Bael Leaves

 

Consult Your family Doctor for more Precautions...

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Who is at highest risk from H1N1 swine flu?

Most U.S. cases of H1N1 swine flu have been in older children and young adults. It's not clear why, and it's not clear whether this will change.
But certain groups are at particularly high risk of severe disease or bad outcomes if they get the flu:

  • Young children, especially those under 12 months of age
  • Elderly people are at high risk of severe flu disease. But relatively few swine flu cases have been seen in people over age 65.
  • People with cardiovascular conditions (except high blood pressure)
  • People with liver problems
  • People with kidney problems
  • People with blood disorders, including sickle cell disease
  • People with neurologic disorders
  • People with neuromuscular disorders
  • People with metabolic disorders, including diabetes
  • People with immune suppression, including HIV infection and medications
  • that suppress the immune system,such as cancer chemotherapy or anti-rejection drugs for transplants
  • Residents of a nursing home or other chronic-care facility

People in these groups should seek medical care as soon as they get flu symptoms.
A striking number of adults who developed severe swine flu complications have been morbidly obese. However, obesity itself does not seem to be the issue. The vast majority of extremely obese people suffer respiratory problems and/or diabetes, which seem to be the underlying reason for their severe flu complications.

2. If I think I have swine flu, what should I do? When should I see my doctor?

if you have flu symptoms, stay home, and when you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue. Afterward, throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands. That will help prevent your flu from spreading If you have only mild flu symptoms, you do not need medical attention unless your illness gets worse. But if you are in one of the groups at high risk of severe disease, contact your doctor at the first sign of flu-like illness. In such cases, the CDC recommends that people call or email their doctor before rushing to an emergency room.
But there are emergency warning signs.
Children should be given urgent medical attention if they:

  • Have fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Have bluish or gray skin color
  • Are not drinking enough fluid
  • Are not waking up or not interacting
  • Have severe or persistent vomiting
  • Are so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Have flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and a worse cough
  • Have fever with a rash
  • Have a fever and then have a seizure or sudden mental or behavioral change.

Adults should seek urgent medical attention if they have:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Flu-like symptoms that improve, but then come back with worsening fever or cough

Keep in mind that your doctor will not be able to determine whether you have swine flu, but he or she may take a sample from you and send it to a state health department lab for testing to see if it's swine flu. If your doctor suspects swine flu, he or she would be able to write you a prescription for Tamiflu or Relenza.
These antiviral medications aren't a question of life or death for the vast majority of people. Most U.S. swine flu patients have made a full recovery without antiviral drugs.

3. How does swine flu spread? Is it airborne?

The new swine flu virus apparently spreads just like regular flu. You could pick up germs directly from droplets from the cough or sneeze of an infected person, or by touching an object they recently touched, and then touching your eyes, mouth, or nose, delivering their germs for your own infection. That's why you should make washing your hands a habit, even when you're not ill. Infected people can start spreading flu germs up to a day before symptoms start, and for up to seven days after getting sick, according to the CDC.

The swine flu virus can become airborne if you cough or sneeze without covering your nose and mouth, sending germs into the air. Ferret studies suggest that swine flu spreads less easily by small, airborne droplets than does seasonal flu. But it does spread by this route, and it may begin to spread even more readily as the new virus fully adapts to humans.
The new swine flu virus is a human virus spread by people and not by pigs. The only way to get the new swine flu is from another person.

Pandemic swine flu virus is sensitive to the antiviral drugs Tamiflu and Relenza. The CDC recommends those drugs to prevent or treat swine flu; the drugs are most effective when taken within 48 hours of the start of flu symptoms. But not everyone needs those drugs. Most people who have come down with swine flu have recovered without treatment. The federal government has replenished state stockpiles of Tamiflu and Relenza in preparation for the fall flu season. Health officials have asked people not to hoard Tamiflu or Relenza.

Tamiflu or Relenza may also be used to prevent swine flu. The CDC recommends this "can be considered" for people at high risk of severe flu illness who come into close contact with someone who has the flu.

4. Is there a vaccine against the new swine flu virus?

Vaccines are being made in large quantities. Clinical tests began in August 2009. Depending on how long federal officials wait for the results of these tests, millions of doses of swine flu vaccine could be ready as soon as September 2009, with more vaccine becoming available each month thereafter.
Although the decision to begin mass vaccinations has not yet been made, federal and state governments are looking at a mid-October launch. By then, 45 million vaccine doses should be available -- fewer than originally predicted, but enough to cover the highest risk groups. Each week after that, another 20 million doses a week will be delivered to states. The U.S. has purchased  a total of 195 million doses.

If swine flu vaccine is in short supply -- nationally or in local areas -- pregnant women and people caring for or living with infants will go to the front of the line. So would health care workers and first responders who have direct contact with patients, children 6 months to 4 years old, and kids 4 to 19 years old with medical conditions that put them at risk of severe flu disease. There are about 42 million Americans in these groups.

If the vaccine supply seems sufficient to meet initial demand, priority will extend to all young people aged six months to 24 years, to people 25 to 64 with underlying medical conditions that put them at risk of severe flu disease, and a larger group of health care workers and emergency medical technicians.

Once there's enough vaccine for these urgent groups, swine flu vaccine will be offered to healthy people 24 and older.
Many questions remain. It's not yet clear whether people will need one or two shots, given three weeks apart, or whether an immune-boosting substance called adjuvant will have to be used.

Spurred by the safety concerns that sank vaccination efforts during the 1976 swine flu scare, federal officials are increasing efforts to track the safety of a pandemic flu vaccine. In addition to beefing up the CDC's vaccine adverse-event surveillance system, health care organizations and the U.S. military will be helping track vaccine safety.

5. I had a flu vaccine this season. Am I protected against swine flu?

No.This season's flu vaccine does not protect against the new swine flu virus.
Whether or not there's a swine flu vaccine this winter, there will be a new seasonal flu vaccine in the fall. This year, it will be more important than ever to get a flu shot. It may not protect against swine flu but it will keep you and others from getting the seasonal flu viruses that kill some 36,000 Americans each year.

6. How can I prevent swine flu infection?

The CDC recommends taking these steps:

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Or use an alcohol-based hand cleaner if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid close contact that is, being within 6 feet with people who have flu-like symptoms.
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose, or eyes. That's not easy to do, so keep those hands clean.
  • If you have flu-like symptoms fever plus at least cough or sore throat or other flu symptoms stay home for seven days after symptoms begin or until you've been symptom-free for 24 hours whichever is longer.
  • Wear a face mask (consider using an N95 respirator) if you must come into close contact with a sick person. "Close contact" means within 6 feet. Note: There is no definitive proof that a face mask prevents flu transmission. Do not rely solely on a face mask to prevent infection.
  • Wear an N95 respirator if helping a sick person with a nebulizer, inhaler, or other respiratory treatment. Note: There is no definitive proof that a respirator prevents flu transmission. Do not rely solely on a respirator to prevent infection.
  • People who have or are suspected of having swine flu should wear a face mask, if available and tolerable, when sharing common spaces with other household members, when outside the home, or when near children or infants.
  • Breastfeeding mothers with swine flu symptoms should express their breast milk, and the child should be fed by someone else.
7. Should I wear a face mask or respirator?

Short answer: Maybe. Face masks and respirators may very well offer extra protection, but should not be your first line of defense against either pandemic or seasonal flu.

Every day, newspapers carry pictures of people wearing face masks to prevent swine flu transmission. But very little is known about whether face masks actually protect against the flu.

There's a difference between a face mask and a respirator. A face mask does not seal tightly to the face. Face masks include masks labeled as surgical, dental, medical procedure, isolation, or laser masks. Respirators are N95- or higher-rated filtering face pieces that fit snugly to the face. Respirators filter out virus particles when correctly adjusted which is not as simple as it sounds. But it's hard to breathe through them for extended periods, and they cannot be worn by children or by people with facial hair.

People who have flu-like symptoms should carry disposable tissues to cover their coughs and sneezes. When going out in public, or when sharing common spaces around the home with family members, they should put on a face mask if one is available and tolerable.
People not at risk of severe flu illness can best protect themselves from swine flu with frequent hand washing and by staying at least 6 feet away from people with flu symptoms. But if swine flu is circulating in the community, a face mask or respirator may be protective in crowded public places.

People at increased risk of severe flu illness pregnant women, for example should add a face mask to these tried-and-true precautions when providing assistance to a person with flu-like illness. And anyone else who cannot avoid close contact with someone who has swine flu (if you must hold a sick infant, for example) may try using a face mask or respirator.

8. How long does the flu virus survive on surfaces?

Flu bugs can survive for hours on surfaces. One study showed that flu viruses can live for up to 48 hours on hard, nonporous surfaces such as stainless steel and for up to 12 hours on cloth and tissues. The virus seems to survive for only minutes on your hands -- but that's plenty of time for you to transfer it to your mouth, nose, or eyes.

9. Can I still eat pork?

Yes. You can't get swine flu by eating pork, bacon, or other foods that come from pigs.

10. What else should I be doing during the swine flu pandemic?

Keep informed of what's going on in your community. Your state and local health departments may have important information if swine flu develops in your area. For instance, parents might want to consider what they would do if their child's school temporarily closed because of flu. Don't panic, but a little planning wouldn't hurt.
Here's the advice from the U.S. government's pandemicflu.gov web site:
To plan for a pandemic:

  • Store a two-week supply of water and food. During a pandemic, if you cannot get to a store, or if stores are out of supplies, it will be important for you to have extra supplies on hand. This can be useful in other types of emergencies, such as power outages and disasters.
  • Periodically check your regular prescription drugs to ensure a continuous supply in your home.
  • Have any nonprescription drugs and other health supplies on hand, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, fluids with electrolytes, and vitamins.
  • Talk with family members and loved ones about how they would be cared for if they got sick, or what will be needed to care for them in your home.
  • Volunteer with local groups to prepare and assist with emergency response.
  • Get involved in your community as it works to prepare for an influenza pandemic.

Items to have on hand for an extended stay at home :

Food and non-perishables

Medical, health, and emergency supplies

Ready-to-eat canned meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, beans, and soups

Prescribed medical supplies such as glucose and blood- pressure monitorin equipment

Protein or fruit bars

Soap and water, or alcohol-based (60-95%) hand wash

Dry cereal or granola

Medicines for fever, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen

Peanut butter or nuts

Thermometer

Dried fruit

Anti-diarrheal medication

Crackers

Vitamins

Canned juices

Fluids with electrolytes

Bottled water

Cleansing agent/soap

Canned or jarred baby food and formula

Flashlight

Pet food

Batteries

Other non-perishable items

Portable radio

 

Manual can opener

 

Garbage bags

 

Tissues, toilet paper, disposable diapers

11. How severe is swine flu?

The severity of cases in the current swine flu outbreak has varied widely, from mild cases to fatalities. Most U.S. cases have been mild, but there have been a number of deaths and hundreds of hospitalizations mostly in young people aged 5 to 24.
Like seasonal flu, children who get swine flu can have serious neurological complications such as seizures and Reye's syndrome. But as with seasonal flu, these complications fortunately are rare.

Studies of the swine flu virus show that it is more infectious to lung cells than are seasonal flu viruses. But studies also suggest that the swine flu virus is less well adapted to humans and may be harder to inhale deep into the lungs.
Flu viruses change all the time, and the way the pandemic swine flu virus evolved suggests that it is particularly liable to swap gene segments with other flu viruses. But so far the swine flu virus hasn't changed much. That's good news, as the vast majority of swine flu cases have been mild. And it's also good news for the swine flu vaccine, which is based on swine flu strains isolated early in the pandemic.

It's impossible to know whether the virus will become more deadly. Scientists are watching closely to see which way the new swine flu virus is heading -- but health experts warn that flu viruses are notoriously hard to predict.
But there's a lot of planning you can do. CDC officials predict that just about every U.S. community will have H1N1 swine flu cases. It's possible some schools in your community may temporarily close, or even that major gatherings may be canceled. So make contingency plans just in case you are affected. For more information on preparedness planning, see the U.S. government's pandemicflu.gov web site.

12. Why has the swine flu infection been more severe in Mexico than in other countries?

That's not clear yet. Researchers around the world are investigating the differences between the cases in Mexico and those elsewhere. The data so far suggests that many more people in Mexico had mild swine flu infections than had originally been appreciated. So the disease now seems to have been no more severe in Mexico than elsewhere.

13. Have there been previous swine flu oubtreaks?

Yes. There was a swine flu outbreak at Fort Dix, N.J., in 1976 among military recruits. It lasted about a month and then went away as mysteriously as it appeared. As many as 240 people were infected; one died.

The swine flu that spread at Fort Dix was the H1N1 strain. That's the same flu strain that caused the disastrous flu pandemic of 1918-1919, resulting in tens of millions of deaths worldwide.

Concern that a new H1N1 pandemic might return in winter 1976 led to a crash program to create a vaccine and vaccinate all Americans against swine flu. That vaccine program ran into all kinds of problems not the least of which was public perception that the vaccine caused excessive rates of dangerous reactions. That may not have been the case. But after more than 40 million people were vaccinated, the effort was abandoned.

As it turned out, there was no swine flu epidemic.
Even though it's an H1N1 type A flu bug, the new swine flu is a different virus than the ones that emerged in 1918 and in 1976 and from the seasonal type A H1N1 virus that has been circulating for many years.
There have been two flu pandemics since 1918 one that began in 1957, and another that began in 1968.

14. I was vaccinated against the 1976 swine flu virus. Am I still protected?

Probably not.The new swine flu virus is different from the 1976 virus. And it's not clear whether a vaccine given more than 30 years ago would still be effective. 

15. How many people have swine flu?

That's no longer possible to answer, because so many people have become infected that most nations can no longer test everyone suspected of having H1N1 swine flu. The CDC counts hospitalizations and deaths. But instead of misleading case counts, the CDC offers a map showing where flu is widespread and charts showing whether unusual numbers of people are showing up in doctors' offices with flu-like symptoms and whether there are unusually high numbers of deaths from pneumonia and influenza.

16. How serious is the public health threat of a swine flu epidemic?

The U.S. government has declared swine flu to be a public health emergency. The World Health Organization considers it a global emergency.
It remains to be seen how severe swine flu will be in the U.S. and elsewhere, but countries worldwide are monitoring the situation closely and preparing for worst-case scenarios.

The World Health Organization has declared swine flu to be a pandemic. That means that all nations can expect to see swine flu infections and should prepare for them but does not mean the virus has become more severe.

The H1N1 swine flu outbreak came at the end of the U.S. flu season. The virus spread across the nation and around the globe in the spring and summer, seasons when flu usually ebbs to nearly undetectable levels in the Northern Hemisphere.
In the Southern Hemisphere, most nations have seen large numbers of H1N1 swine flu cases. Fortunately, there's no sign that the pandemic flu bug has become more deadly, more resistant to new flu drugs, or less likely to be stopped by the H1N1 swine flu vaccine now in production.

Nobody knows how bad the swine flu will be during the Northern Hemisphere flu season. But the CDC is warning Americans to prepare for a bad flu season this fall. It's better to over-prepare and look a little silly if nothing happens than to be unprepared for an emergency.

17.  Are Designer masks being produced by some companies?
       How would it affect the use of them as precautionry measures?

Many companies thought that wearing old designed plain masks, would be boring. So to add it’s userfriendiness towards protection from the swine flu, they added a designer flavour to masks. Yes, it will affect positively Find some of the interesting Designer masks to choose from,

 

 

References:

http://www.webmd.com
http://en.wikipedia.org
http://palscience.com
data.gate2biotech.com
http://www.e-learningstudios.com

- Editorial Team

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