India is in the midst of a swine flu invasion with hundreds of cases detected in the past month. As per official data, close to five thousand people have been diagnosed with the H1N1 virus. More than 150 have succumbed to the illness already. Rajasthan alone has seen 72 deaths in a single month. People have been panicking about the rising cases of the virus-borne infection, which generally spike in the winter months. The National Centre for Diseases Control (NCDC) has released a set of tips to stay protected from the H1N1 infection.
What is Swine Flu?
Swine flu is an extremely contagious disease, caused by the H1N1 virus. The disease can be transmitted through the saliva, mucous and nasal aerosols of an infected person.
It can also be spread by touching a germ-infected surface, shaking hands, sharing unwashed utensils, etc.
Symptoms of the disease are similar to those of regular flu-like headache, chills, fever, throat ache, muscle pain, cough, fatigue and malaise.
How Are At Risk?
According to NCDC, pregnant women, children, old people, those with compromised immune systems are people on medication are at risk of contracting the H1N1 virus.
How To Stay Protected From Swine Flu?
Since swine flu cases are on the rise, it’s essential to keep your family protected from the deadly virus. Here are some points to keep in mind. Swine Flu: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment; Home Remedies To Prevent H1N1 Virus.
- Since the disease spreads through nasal aerosols, saliva and mucus, keep your mouth and nose covered when you enter a crowded place or if you are around a sick person.
- Cover your nose and mouth while you are sneezing.
- Wash your hands regularly with a strong, antiseptic soap. Be sure to rub your hands for a minute before washing the lather off.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unclean hands.
- Avoid shaking hands with infected people if you live in an endemic area. Be armed with a sanitiser to clean your hands or wear gloves.
- If there is a suspected case of swine flu, isolate the person to prevent further spread of the disease.
- Drink plenty of fluids and keep yourself hydrated.
- Wear a swine flu mask to keep yourself from breathing infected aerosols. But do not reuse it. Throw it away after the first use.
Avoid self-medication with antibiotics. Swine flu is a viral infection, which requires antivirals. Abuse of antibiotics will not solve the problem and add to antibiotic resistance. Swine Flu Claims 72 Lives, 1,856 People Tested Positive With H1N1 Virus in Rajasthan This Year, Till January 27.
Do not re-use tissues since there’s a high chance of reinfection. Some viruses can stay active on the tissue surface for days, which can get reintroduced into the system.
Avoid crowded places. There are high chances of an infection spreading in overcrowded places due to the proximity of people.
Swine flu is a contagious disease. Hence it is important to keep your family protected from the H1N1 virus, especially if they belong to the high-risk group. If you or anyone you know have been showing signs of swine flu, visit a doctor within 48 hours of getting the symptoms.