H1N1 Treatment

How to treat H1N1 aka Swine Flu

H1N1 scientists

H1N1 scientists

Swine flu or influenza H1N1 is a subtype of influenza A virus believed to have originated in Mexico and has since spread across the globe. It was renamed as H1N1 influenza A to distinguish it from the swine flu connected with pigs or hogs.

Swine flu symptoms or H1N1 symptoms are influenza-like. Since it is a seasonal virus, H1N1 is common during the autumn and winter months.  H1N1 symptoms begin one to four days incubation after being exposed to a person who is infected with H1N1 virus. Like common influenza, patients with H1N1 will experience severe headaches, chills, high fever, sneezing, coughing, sore throat, congestion, shortness of breath (dyspnea), muscle pains, weakness, fatigue and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea. The diagnosis may differ depending on the infected person’s medical history.

The most likely at high risk to get H1N1 are elderly people (sixty-five years old and above) and children (five years old and below). Children are infected with H1N1 virus if they start to have a grayish pallor, has irregular breathing (shortness of breath or fast breathing), feverish with rashes, persistent vomiting, irritability, inability to drink enough fluids, has bouts of unconsciousness, symptoms of flu improved but some will return and become worse. For elderly people, a definite sign that they have been infected with H1N1 virus are: confusion, vertigo, severe headaches, difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath, severe body aches, pain or pressure in the abdominal area and chest, and persistent vomiting.

h1n1 2

Swine Flu

Influenza H1N1 can be transmitted from person-to-person, making H1N1 virus dangerous because it is easily spread. It can be transmitted through bodily fluids secreted by an H1N1 infected person to another like sneezing and coughing. The 2009 H1N1 pandemic is one example.

Transmission of zoonotic swine flu mainly occurs in swine farms. Hog farmers can be at high risk when exposed to swine flu infected animals without wearing protective gear like face masks (N-95 or N-99 type) and gloves. It is generally believed though that swine flu virus strains from pigs has an unlikely occurrence to be transmitted to humans. However, there is still a possibility of getting infected with zoonotic swine flu through subsequent hand-to-mouth, hand-to-eye or hand-to-nose transmission.

h1n1 vaccine

h1n1 vaccine

Swine flu in humans is very contagious during the first five days after the first H1N1 symptoms occur. These critical days can ratchet up to ten days, especially in some cases with children. H1N1 cannot be easily diagnosed as such. Because of its flu-like symptoms, further testing must be made during the first give days to be sure it’s H1N1 virus and not just an ordinary influenza virus.

Like any viral disease, H1N1 can be prevented. Physicians recommend following the standard infection control guidelines such as frequent proper hand washing with soap and water. A combination of wearing face masks (N-95 and N-99) and frequent hand washing can help prevent contracting the H1N1 virus.

Since swine flu is a seasonal viral disease, using alcohol-based hand sanitizers are also recommended by physicians to prevent being infected with H1N1 virus especially after being outside in public. Alcohol-based gel or foam hand sanitizers are reported to kill germs and virus. It is also a good habit to bring hand sanitizers with you wherever you go as a precautionary measure.

h1n1 pic

Swine Flu pic

It has been reported that droplets of mucous or any other bodily fluids secreted by an H1N1-infected person can linger on a surface. Since H1N1 virus can be transmitted through saliva, it is advised to sanitize household surfaces, telephones and tabletops with diluted chlorine bleach solution.

Be prepared. Stock up on over-the-counter medication, tissues, hand sanitizers and other materials needed to help avoid making trips to stores when H1N1 symptoms are already showing. It’s advisable to avoid crowds at all times when one is already contagious to avoid another 2009 H1N1 pandemic.

To further avoid getting infected with swine flu or influenza H1N1, people should cover their noses and mouths with tissue or sanitized handkerchiefs when sneezing or coughing. Tissues should be properly disposed after using right away.

h1n1 outbreak

h1n1 precaution

Stay away from people who are sick, especially with some flu-like symptoms. There is high risk in getting infected. It might not be H1N1, but any other type of influenza can be worrisome. Germs are easily spread, so avoid touching your eyes, nose and/or mouth, especially when out in public.

Prevent spreading H1N1. In case you get sick, do not leave your home for at least five days since H1N1 symptoms starts to show. It is even recommended to stay at home for a week or until after the day that you are symptom-free.

Recurrence of H1N1 is unlikely if the person has a strong immune system. There are available H1N1 vaccinations approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Social distancing can also help in avoiding getting infected with H1N1 virus again.

swine flu vent

h1n1 hood

A person sick with H1N1 can take antiviral medication that can help make the person feel better and the illness milder. These drugs can also prevent the H1N1 virus from getting out of hand by creating further complications in the respiratory and immune systems. CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends physician to administer zanamivir (Relenza) or oseltamivir (Tamiflu) to people infected with H1N1. There are some isolated cases where infected people fully recover from zoonotic swine flu without taking any antiviral drug. Proper home or hospital care can help relieve pain, control fever and maintain fluid balance among H1N1 patients. However, hospital care is better than home care to prevent secondary infections or other medical problems that may occur to H1N1 patients such as bacterial pneumonia, respiratory failure and kidney failure.

H1N1 can rapidly spread due to its high person-to-person transmission rate and because of people’s air travel frequency. H1N1 infected people are quarantined to keep the others from getting the virus and also as a social distancing method to contain the area of contamination. Since the 2009 H1N1 outbreak, major airports around the world have put up temperature scanners to ensure the public’s safety.

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