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Swine flu or influenza A (H1N1)

  Introduction
 What is Swine flu
 History of Swine flu
 Symptoms of Swine flu
 Causes of Swine flu
 Prevention of Swine flu
 Diagnosing of Swine flu
 Treatment of Swine flu
 Alternative Treatment
 Research
 Social Impact
 Union health ministry new guidelines
  Yoga can help reduce H1N1 risk

   Introduction

According to WHO the virus has sprung up in places as remote as Afghanistan and Belize to Marshall Islands, Seychelles, Solomon Islands and Tonga.

     Swine flu

Experts say it is almost clear that the virus has now spread to almost all parts of the world and it is also a matter of time before it is found in almost all parts of India. H1N1, which is genetically a  mix of human, bird and swine viruses, has reached over 168 countries and killed 1,154 people. Today (February 19, 2015) Swine flu claims 624 lives, 9,311 cases reported so far across India in 2015   Swine flu news 2015



  What is Swine flu

The H1N1 virus is a novel strain of influenza. Existing vaccines against seasonal flu provide no protection, and there is no vaccine for this strain.

Children showed no cross-reactive antibody reaction to the new strain, adults aged 18 to 64 had 6-9%, and older adults 33%. It was also determined that the strain contained genes from four different flu viruses: North American swine influenza, North American avian influenza, human influenza, and two swine influenza viruses typically found in Asia and Europe. Further analysis showed that several of the proteins of the virus are most similar to strains that cause mild symptoms in humans, leading virologist Wendy Barclay to suggest on May 1 that the initial indications are that the virus was unlikely to cause severe symptoms for most people. Scientists in Winnipeg completed the first full genetic sequencing of the virus on 6 May.

   History of Swine flu

The influenza virus has a long history and caused several pandemic threats over the past century, including the pseudo-pandemic of 1947, the 1976 swine flu outbreak and the 1977 Russian flu, all caused by the H1N1 subtype. The recent  outbreak was first detected in Mexico City on March 18, 2009, and health officials later confirmed an outbreak in Veracruz state in February. Immediately after the outbreak was officially announced, Mexico requested material support from the U.S., sending samples to the U.S. and Canada for testing.  Within days of the outbreak, Mexico City was "effectively shut down," and some countries hastily canceled flights to Mexico while others halted trade.

    Symptoms of Swine flu

The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a list of warning signs of possible severe disease in H1N1 flu patients, while adding its voice to the recent warnings about the virus's threat to pregnant women.

The WHO said signs that can signal a progression to severe disease include shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, turning blue, bloody or colored sputum, chest pain, altered mental status, high fever lasting more than 3 days, and low blood pressure. In addition, particular danger signs in children include fast or  difficult breathing, lack of alertness, difficulty in waking up, and little or no desire to play, the agency said. Because a patient's condition can worsen very quickly, medical attention should be sought when any of the warning signs appear, the WHO advised.

The agency noted that most patients continue to have mild symptoms and recover fully within a week, but a few people, usually younger than 50, rapidly progress to severe and often fatal illness. "No factors that can predict this pattern of severe disease have yet been identified, though studies are under way," the statement said.  The agency said pregnant women should be treated with oseltamivir as soon as possible after symptom onset and should be a priority group for immunization.

 April 10, 2015  Swine flu deaths toll touches 2,159
 affected by 35,000

   Swine flu news 2015

     Swine flue

   Early signs of influenza A (H1N1) are flu-like, including fever, cough, headache, muscle and joint pain, sore throat and runny nose, and may  vomiting or diarrhoea. Like seasonal flu, swine flu may cause a worsening of underlying chronicmedical conditions

   Causes of Swine flu

Swine flu is transmitted by airborne droplets from an infected person's sneeze or cough; or from germs on hands, or germ-laden surfaces. When infected people cough or sneeze, infected droplets get on their hands, drop onto surfaces, or are dispersed into the air. Another person can breathe in contaminated air, or touch infected hands or surfaces, and be exposed.

Germs can be spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth. Droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected person move through the air. Some viruses and bacteria can live two hours or longer on surfaces like cafeteria tables, doorknobs, and desks.Frequent hand washing will help you reduce the chance of getting contamination from these common surfaces.

   Prevention of Swine flu

There are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like influenza. Take these everyday steps to protect your health:

Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol based hand cleaners are also effective.
  Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  Try to avoid close contact with people having respiratory illness.
  If one gets sick with influenza, one must stay at home, away from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them. However, if one is having any respiratory distress, one should report to a nearby hospital.
  First and most important: 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. Avoid touching surfaces that 
may be contaminated with the flu virus. Avoid close contact with people having respiratory illness.
  School and college goers and people who go out to work are at a higher risk of contracting the infection. People who live in air-conditioned, closed environments are more likely to catch the disease.  
  Use disposable tissues, always cover your mouth and nose while coughing and sneezing, and dispose of your waste carefully. here is always some virus on tabletops, telephones and computers. So try not to touch your eyes, nose and mouth frequently.    

  H1N1 2009 flu pandemic vaccine

WHO does not expect the swine flu vaccine to be widely available until the end of 2009, noting that current production "yield" was only about half as much as expected and would cause timeline delays.[245] Vaccine producers can normally produce about a billion doses of any single vaccine each year and as a result WHO anticipates a "global shortfall," Keiji Fukuda said in May.

   Diagnosing of Swine flu

Many epidemiologists have pointed out that, in reality, millions of people have had swine flu, usually in a mild form, so the numbers of laboratory-confirmed cases were actually meaningless. But the laboratory test when confirms positive sign than a regular treatment is essential under the guidence of an expert doctor.

   Treatment of Swine flu

Oseltamivir is the recommended anti viral drug for the treatment and/or prevention of infection with the influenza A H1N1.  The Mayo Clinic and Medline list a number of ways to help ease symptoms, including adequate liquid intake and rest, soup to ease congestion, and over-the-counter drugs to relieve pain. Aspirin, for instance, "is very effective for treating fever in adults"  although in children and adolescents, aspirin is not usually given due to the risk of Reye's syndrome  While over-the-counter drugs relieve symptoms, they do not kill the virus. Most patients were expected to recover without medical attention, although those with pre-existing or underlying medical conditions were more prone to complications.
  According to the CDC, antiviral drugs can be given to treat those who become severely ill, two of which are recommended for swine flu symptoms: oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza).  

 Alternative Treatment

  Homeopathy
  Homeopathy can both prevent and cure swine flu, sans any side effects, say doctors who practice this alternative medicine system in India where 'Homeopathy can prevent,  Take homeopathic medicines — Pyrogenium 200 and Inflenzium 200 in particular — five tablets three times a day, or two-three drops three times a day. While these are not specifically targeted at H1N1 either, these work well as preventive against common flu virus.

Ayurveda
  The Tulsi (Holy Basil) and Giloi (  Tinospora cordifolia) are the common herbs to cure swine flu in Ayurveda

Nature Cures: More Herbs for Flu
 Here are some easy steps you can take to tackle a flu virus of any kind, including swine flu. 

1. Have five duly washed leaves of Tulsi (known as Basil) everyday in the morning. Tulsi has a large number of therapeutic properties. It keeps throat and lungs clear and helps in infections by way of strengthening your immunity.

2.Giloi ( Tinospora cordifolia) is a commonly available plant. Take a one-foot long branch of giloi, add five to six leaves of Tulsi and boil in water for 15-20 minutes or long enough to allow the water to extract its properties. Add black pepper and sendha (salt used during religious fasts), rock or black salt, or Misri (crystalised sugar like lumps to make it sweet) according to taste. Let it cool a bit and drink this kadha (concoction) while still warm. It
will work wonders for your immunity. 

3. A small piece of camphor (kapoor) approximately the size of a tablet should be taken once or twice a month. 

4. Those who can take garlic, must have two pods of raw garlic first thing in the morning. Garlic too strengthens immunity.

5. Take a glass of hot or lukewarm milk every night with a small measure of haldi (turmeric).

6. Aloe vera (gwarpatha) too is a commonly available plant. Its thick and long, cactus-like leaves have an odourless gel. A teaspoon gel taken with water daily can work wonders for not only your skin and joint pains, but also boost immunity. 

7. Do Pranayam daily and go for morning jog/walk regularly to keep your throat and lungs in good condition and body in fine fettle. 

8. Have citrus fruits, particularly Vitamin C rich Amla (Indian gooseberry) juice. 

9. Wash your hands frequently every day with soap and warm water especially before meals.

      

  Wearing a well-fitted mask in public places is also advisable. But only a mask can’t save you from the disease. 

    Research

Swine flu can infect cells deeper in the lungs than seasonal flu, thus helping to boost the severity of the illness, a study released on September 10, 2009 said. The paper provides the first laboratory corroboration of reports from front-line doctors that some patients with A(H1N1) virus suffer worse symptoms compared to those with run-of-the-mill seasonal flu. Influenza viruses penetrate cells by attaching themselves to molecules called receptors, located on the outside of the cell wall. The virus' docking spike and the receptor are like a key and a lock. Some viruses only open a few cells, while others have something rather closer to a pass key, making it possible to infect a larger cell variety.
Once inside, the virus uses the cell's machinery to replicate, eventually bursting the cell and going on to attack others.   Seasonal strains attach themselves almost exclusively to cells found in the nose, throat and upper airway, producing a some of influenza's signature symptoms: runny nose, scratchy throat, a dry cough.
  But the new research, published in the journal Nature Biotechnology, shows that the new swine flu -- by sticking to a greater range of receptors -- can also breach cells deep in the lungs. Lab-dish experiments were carried out by Ten Feizi of Imperial College London and colleagues in which 86 different receptors were exposed to both seasonal and pandemic flu. The seasonal strains only locked onto the kind of receptors found in the upper respiratory track.

   Social Impact

Swine flu  is a mild disease, hence stop the panic. There is no need to close the schools. It is lot less than many other disease such as:  Tuberculosis ,    Heart disease,    Diabetes ,   Smoking/Tabco ,   cancers  ,
  The latest toll by Swine flue in India is 624 alone in 2015 since January 2015 , which is insignificant. Stop the panic and follow the proper precautions and prevention.

    Union health ministry new guidelines

Union health ministry has clearly spelt out as to who should go for the testing. Accordingly, even those with high fever or sore throat need not go for the test. Only those with breathlessness, chest pain and low BP must undergo the test. To prevent and contain Influenza-A H1N1 virus for screening, testing and isolation, the following guidelines are to be followed. At first, all individuals seeking consultations for flu-like symptoms should be screened at healthcare facilities — both government and private — or examined by a doctor. These will be categorized as under: 
 Category A 
 Patients with mild fever plus cough/sore throat with or without body ache, headache, diarrhoea and vomiting will be categorised as Category-A. They do not require Oseltamivir and should be treated 
for these symptoms. The patients should be monitored for their progress and reassessed at 24 to 48 hours by the doctor.   No testing of the patient for H1N1 is required. Patients should stay home and avoid mixing up with public and high-risk members in the family. 
 Category B 
  In addition to all the signs and symptoms mentioned under Category-A, if the patient has high-grade fever and severe sore throat, may require home isolation and Oseltamivir 
 In addition to all the signs and symptoms mentioned under Category-A, individuals having one or more of the following high-risk conditions shall be treated with Oseltamivir. 
 Children less than 5 yrs old,  Pregnant women, Persons aged 65 or more 
 Patients with lung diseases, heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease, blood disorders, diabetes, neurological disorders, cancer and HIV/AIDS; patients on long-term cortisone therapy. 
 No test for H1N1 is required for Category-B (children below 5 yrs) and (pregnant women). These patients should stay home and avoid mixing with public and high risk members in the family. 
 Category C 
 In addition to the above signs and symptoms of Category-A and B, if the patient has one or more of the following: 
 Breathlessness, chest pain, drowsiness, fall in blood pressure, sputum mixed with blood, bluish discolouration of nails 
  

  Yoga can help reduce H1N1 risk

“Yoga is the best method to maintain a strong immune system, which can help in getting rid of various infectious diseases including swine flu. Some stretching postures, breathing exercises (pranayama) and meditation will keep your immune system in a better shape.”  says a Yoga expert. 
Yoga empowers the lymphatic system that helps in flushing out of the toxins from our body. Yoga pranayamas (breathing exercises) are also helpful in preventing swine flu. Breathing exercises will help in massaging the thymus gland and thus activate the lungs. Many doctors also believe that yoga can help in preventing the H1N1 influenza.

 

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