Swine Flu: Frequently Asked Questions

KL Report

SRINAGAR

Here is a Press Information Bureau presentation on the causes and preventions for the Swine Flu that has taken a toll of more than 600 people across India so far.

What is influenza – A(H1N1)

Influenza – A (H1N1) (earlier know as swine flu) is a new influenza virus causing illness in people. First detected in Mexico in April, 2009, it has spread to many countries in the World. Swine flu is basically a misnomer. This was originallyreferred to as “swine flu” because laboratory testing showed that many of the genes in this new virus were very similar to those found in pigs in North America.

Further on, it has been found that this new virus has gene segments from the swine, avian and human flu virus genes. The scientists calls this a ‘quadruple reassortant” virus and hence this new (novel) virus is christened “influenza-A (H1N1) virus.”

Is this flu virus contagious?

Influenza A (H1N1) virus is contagious and spreading from human to human.

What are the signs and symptoms of influenza-A (H1N1) in people?

The symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular seasonal flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with influenza-A (H1N1)

How does influenza-A (H1N1) spread?

Flu viruses are spread mainly from person to person through droplets created while coughing or sneezing by a person infected with the influenza-A (H1N1).

How can someone with the flu infect someone else?

Infected person may be able to infect others beginning one day before symptoms
develop and up to seven or more days after becoming sick.

How to keep away from getting the flu?

First and most important: Follow simple steps as cough etiquettes (covering mouth & nose with handkerchief or tissue paper while coughing), stay at least an arm’s length from persons coughing or sneezing, avoid gathering and 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.

What can I do to protect myself from getting sick?

(a) Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.

(b) Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.

(c) Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.

(d) Try to avoid close contact with people having respiratory illness.

(e) 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.

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