The H1N1 Influenza Virus commonly referred to as Swine Flu is a human respiratory infection that is caused by a virus. It was first identified in the spring of the year 2009. A few months post the initial swine flu cases that were reported, the rates of spread confirmed that H1N1-related illness was increasing in most parts of the world.
How it spreads or causes –
These Influenza viruses infect the cells linings in your throat, nose, and lungs. Then the virus enters your body as and when you inhale contaminated droplets or transfer the live virus from a contaminated surface into your nose, eyes, or mouth. However, you cannot catch swine flu by consuming pork.
Prevention Methods –
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention is shown to have recommended flu vaccination for all those who are older than six months of age as means to prevent the virus from quickly entering the body in the future. The flu shot itself contains an unharmful portion of the H1N1 virus as one of its components. This flu shot is helpful in protecting an individual against two or three other influenza viruses that are expected to be one of the most common.
This vaccine is available in the form of an injection or a nasal spray. However, this nasal spray is only approved for use by healthy people between the age group 2 to 49 years, barring pregnant women. For those older than 50 and younger than 2, this spray is not recommended.
Some other measures to help prevent swine flu are as follows :
- Stay home and keep away if you’re sick –
Swine flu spread through the particles in the air and it is entirely possible that your presence in a public place can result in spreading of the virus. For this purpose, it is recommended for you to stay at home and keep away from people to avoid such a situation.
- Wash your hands thoroughly and regularly –
Whenever you are affected by a virus, it is best to take all measures to reduce the number of germs in your body. Ensure you regularly wash your hands with soap or if you please, even use sanitizers to clean your hands.
- Contain your coughs and sneezes –
As mentioned in the earlier points, this virus can commute through the air and needs to be contained. If you are affected by this virus, it is advised to cover your mouth while sneezing or coughing to avoid contaminating the air. It is also recommended to cover your mouth using either a tissue or a handkerchief to avoid spreading germs on to your hands.
- Reduce exposure within your household –
Even while at home, limit your contact with loved ones and others to brief meetings so as to avoid any unfortunate spread of viruses. Remain contained in your designated area and ensure you assign one person the job to look after any emergency requirements and other personal care.