Swine Flu - The emerging threat

    Swine Flu - The Emerging Threat



Swine flu - The Emerging Threat

What is Swine flu?
  • Swine means pig.
  • Swine flu is respiratory contagious disease in pigs.
  • ​Transmitted in Human by contact with infected pig or contaminated environment.
  • ​After getting this infection from pigs infected humans transmit this infection very rapidly to other human beings.
  • ​Basically it is a type of influenza. Influenza A.

How does Swine flu spreads?
  • ​Virus is shed by humans or pigs while sneezing, cough.
  • Airborne infection.
  • Essentially similar to seasonal influenza.
  • Also by hands if no proper hand washing hygiene is used.
  • Mostly in cold season. 
  • Crowded places.
Who are worst affected by Swine flu?
  • Age less than 5 years old.
  • Old age group.
  • Diabetics and hypertensive.
  • Pregnant women.
  • Those with immuno-compromised status.
  • Though other in all age groups and sexes can be affected.
  • Malnourished children.
  • AIDS affected children and adults.

What are "Symptoms of Swine flu"?
  • More than 90% of those infected with Swine flu are asymptomatic and they get cured without any symptoms.
  • Symptoms are same as other seasonal flu.
  • Cold, running nose, sneezing.
  • Cough, throat pain, chest pain.
  • ​Diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting.
  • Headache, bodyache.
  • fever with or without chills.
  • fatigue, malaise.
  • 3% of all infected become seriously ill and need admission, in population with above stated risk factors this proportion is larger.
  • Pneumonia.
  • ARDS, pulmonary edema.
  • Sespsis.
  • Death.
Can it be associated with symptoms other than cold?
  • Yes Especially Gastrointestinal symptoms
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • vommiting
  • Headache

What are tests needed to identify Swine flu case?
  • Symptoms are very similar to other seasonal flu so clinically difficult to give definitive diagnosis.
  • PCR throat swab or nasal swab is needed to identify the virus.

When to do the test to detect swine flu (PCR Test)?
  • If patient needs admission for above mentioned symptoms.
  • There is ongoing epidemic in the region.
  • PCR test is costly and not recommended for each flu, especially in resource limited settings like in developing countries​.

What treatment need to be given for Swine flu?
  • For mild cases who do not need admission only symptomatic treatment is needed.
  • For moderate cases who have continuous high grade fever, who have increased throat pain, increased cough, diarrhea are to be started on oseltamivir (Tamiflu) without doing test for Swine flu.
  • For severe cases that is those who need admission or ICU admission should be compulsorily tested for swine flu but treatment is not delayed while waiting for test results. The medicine oseltamivir (Tamiflu) should be started immediately after collecting swab. Also supportive treatment like oxygenation and ventilation is given if needed. Antibiotics may be started in serious cases.

Do contacts need to be treated?
  • Yes, contacts of proven cases.
  • Oseltamivir recommended dose once a day for 10 days.
  • Drug provides protection for contacts.
  • It can be given in pregnancy.
  • Even vaccinated contacts need the drug.

What about using mask?
  • Mask provides limited protection.
  • It should be will fitted and proper size.
  • It should be changed at least daily.
  • It should be N97.
  • Not possible to use all the time like while eating in hotel.
  • it is generally very costly.
  • Wont work if becomes wet by secretions.

How to prevent Swine flu and Swine flu vaccine?
  • Trivalent inactivated swine flu is needed.
  • but this need to be taken yearly.
  • Swine flu virus H1N1 modifies itself periodically so that host immunity cannot identify and attack it.
  • Especially those less than age 5 years, Pregnant, Elderly people, diabetics and hypertensive should get vaccinated.
  • For more details regarding vaccination visit here.

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