It is a respiratory disease caused by influenza viruses. It is transmitted from person to person by inhalation or ingestion of droplets containing virus from people sneezing or coughing. It's also called H1N1 (Hemagglutinin Type 1 and Neuraminidase Type 1)
Every one has a question raised in his or her mind , why we call it Swine Flu . Actually this virus was originally referred to as swine flu because laboratory testing showed that many of the genes in the virus were very similar to influenza viruses that normally occur in the pigs or swines.
Symptoms- fever, cough, sore throat , running nose, body aches, chills , blood in sputum. Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea.
Are there tests for swine flu?
Yes. Without one its hard to tell whether you have swine flu or a seasonal flu. A lab test is the only way to confirm it .
Here are some tips to avoid swine flu :-
1- It is essential to remember that all kinds of viruses and bacterias can attack you when your immune system is weak . Getting adequate sleep is a good first step to boost your immune system.
Pump up your immune system with foods rich in probiotics like curd , yakult etc.
2 - Wash your hands thoroughly ( for at least 2 minutes) and frequently, especially if you have returned from a public place or used public transport or public toilet etc .
3 - Stay at least 6 feet away from the people with flu like illness
4 - Hydrate your body well , it helps to remove toxic products from the body and thus helps to enhance your immune system.
5 – Eat properly cooked food.
6– Follow some of these Home remedies to avoid it:
-Two pods of garlic help strengthen your immunity
-Turmeric contains a wide range of antioxidants, anti viral, anti fungal, antibacterial, anti carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory. Having turmeric powder in lukewarm milk will help boost your immune system.
-Take 1 tsp of aloe vera gel with lukewarm water , especially in morning (empty stomach).it is full of antioxidants which help fight the free radicals and enhance immunity.
- Have 5 duly washed and crushed leaves of tulsi with honey . it keeps throat and lungs clear.
7 –Make a habit to have vitamin C daily in your diet. Vitamin C has antiviral properties. So have food like Amla, lemon, oranges, kinnows etc which are found in abundance in winter season.
8 -Have food rich in zinc which helps to form antibodies to fight with swine flu . Zinc is found in abundance in sea food . But do not worry, vegetarian also can get zinc food from beans, oatmeal, nuts and seeds etc.
9. Prepare an Ayurvedic drink at home with Giloy piece, Neem tree bark (small piece) , Tulsi leaves and cloves (Long) (3 to 4 pices) .Boil them in 3 cups of water. When one cup water is left drink this solution (You can add little bit sugar if you want). Take it daily twice and it is helpful for swine flu patient. Every body can take it and it will boost your immunity to avoid swine flu.
10 – Have your surroundings neat and clean. Always use disinfectants which kill the bacteria.
11 –Avoid stress as you know a happy person is always physically and mentally fit.
NOTE :- It can be serious for infants, elders and people with weak immune system.
If you wear a face mask, do not reuse it . Face mask should be worn once and then thrown out.
Antibiotics would not do anything for you ; that's because flu is caused by virus not bacteria. Commonly used medicine Tamiflu for this disease is antiviral.
-Dr. Suman Setia