Swine Flu Prevention – What Doctors Recommend?
In April 2009, swine flu was first detected in humans, and it instantly made headlines It was declared a pandemic a contagious disease affecting people around the world at the same time From using Dettol Liquid Handwash to maintain hand hygiene to wearing masks, people did it all to stay protected
In April 2009, swine flu was first detected in humans, and it instantly made headlines. It was declared a pandemic – a contagious disease affecting people around the world at the same time. From using Dettol Liquid Handwash to maintain hand hygiene to wearing masks, people did it all to stay protected.
According to Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 5,75,400 people died globally from the 2009 swine flu pandemic. In India, 23.3% of people tested for swine flu were found to be positive with the virus. Around 4% of people who were tested positive for swine flu died in India, as per an insight into the swine-influenza A (H1N1) virus infection in humans.
However, soon after, in August 2010 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the world free from H1N1 pandemic. Since then, H1N1 is known as regular human flu virus and spreads like other strains of flu – typically in the flu season.
Flu (influenza) is a respiratory illness that is caused via a virus. It is highly common across the world and can affect anyone coming in contact with the virus. Even though regular flu is rarely deadly, a certain form of it can indeed cause deaths. Swine flu is one of those deadly forms of influenza.
It is not even a decade since the first swine flu pandemic broke across the world. Since then, numerous swine flu prevention practices like washing hands with Dettol Liquid Handwash have surfaced. However, before heading into those intricacies, let us know more about swine flu.
What is Swine Flu?
Swine flu, also known by its scientific name – H1N1, is a strain of influenza A virus that affects pigs. Influenza A virus is a combination of avian, swine and human genes which is mixed in pigs and then spread to humans. H1N1 causes similar symptoms as that of the regular flu. The virus initially originated in pigs but has since then spread to humans with close contact from such infected pigs.
What Causes Swine Flu?
Even a simple sneeze from an infected person can cause millions of germs to spread through the air. Moreover, H1N1 can linger on most surface areas such as doorknobs, tables and anything that comes in contact with many people. These places are a goldmine for germs and can be dangerous for everyone.
Since swine flu is extremely contagious, it can be spread through mucus particles and saliva. Coughing, sneezing, and touching a surface covered with germs can lead to transmission.
Who’s At Risk and What Symptoms to Looks For?
Anyone who’s in contact with a person or a group of people with swine flu automatically increase their risk. During its first emergency, swine flu was common in younger adults and children who were 5 years or older. However, today risk factors for swine flu are same as that of any other strain of flu.
Just like any other illness, some people are at higher risk than others. For swine flu, these people are at a higher risk:
- Children under 5 years old
- Adults over 65 years old
- Pregnant women
- People with a compromised immune system
Symptoms of Swine Flu
Typically, H1N1 causes respiratory illness and the symptoms are more or less similar to that of influenza, including:
- A sore throat
- Stuffy/runny nose
Preventing Swine Flu – What Doctors Recommend?
Swine flu typically affects pigs, but the virus can indeed spread to humans. It does not matter if someone had contracted swine flu in the past or has never – prevention should be taken seriously for both groups. When it comes to swine flu prevention, the best defense is the best offense – so taking active measures is critical.
Here are some tips to prevent swine flu:
- Maintaining Hand Hygiene
The best way for swine flu prevention is by maintaining hand hygiene. Germs can be found in most surface areas and can live on mouth and skin. Since hygiene is associated with disease prevention and health promotion – doctors take it seriously. Thus, effective hand hygiene is a key intervention in the prevention of disease.
Washing hands for at least 15 seconds with soaps such as Dettol Liquid Handwash is highly recommended. People who are often on-the-go should always carry an alcohol-based sanitizer such as Dettol Hand Sanitizer and use it often when they cannot wash hands. Dettol Hand Sanitizer is known in the medical ecosphere for its sanitizing properties and is recommended by the doctors around the world. It kills 99.99% of germs and is the best way to maintain hand hygiene.
- Avoiding Contact
People, especially the ones at elevated risk should avoid total contact with those who are sick or show symptoms of swine flu. Furthermore, avoid going to pig barns or maintaining any contact with pigs or other people, if there are any symptoms of swine flu.
- Getting Vaccinated
Contact a family doctor or a pediatrician if there are children at home for an annual flu shot. Getting an annual influenza immunization is essential as it avoids complications in the future. Even though it may not protect from swine flu, it can surely prevent other strains of human influenza. Getting a flu shot helps in preventing a situation where a person gets infected with both human and swine influenza at the same time.
Going by the past pandemic, swine flu can be deadly and a cause of concern. Today, doctors are more prepared than ever to tackle this disease. However, people should do their part and adopt healthy habits to keep illnesses such as H1N1 away. Apart from maintaining the mandatory health hygiene, eating a nutritious diet and staying physically active is also critical.
Prevention is better than cure, and it stands correct for swine flu. Hand sanitization is the most significant lifestyle habit to inculcate in swine flu prevention. Other than that, maintaining a physical distance from infected people also contributes to prevention.
So, stay informed and start sanitizing now!
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