A highly contagious respiratory disease that is taking over the world like an epidemic, Swine Flu is caused by influenza viruses. Started from pigs, swine influenza is also called pig flu. Although the flu is not that much damaging in pigs, it has the potential to be quite fatal in humans, if transmitted to them.
The current swine flu pandemic that is greatly infecting humans is the H1N1 influenza type. As the alarming flu has symptoms similar to that of seasonal influenza, its detection usually happens quite late. The symptoms of Swine flu can range from coughing, high fever, lack of appetite to severe diarrhea and respiratory failure.
However, if one takes some simple yet necessary precautions, infection from the H1N1 virus can be easily avoided. Some steps to clear the myths and to be protected from Swine flu are listed below:
Myth number 1: Swine Flu is transmitted by Pork products
One of the common reactions of the people when they heard about the outbreak of swine flu was, “we must stop eating pork from now on”. For an unaware person, it sounds just right as pigs also get infected by the deadly flu, so there might be a chance of getting the virus transmitted from the pork to humans.
The reality is if one consumes a properly cooked pork, then there is no chance of getting infected by the H1N1 virus as the high temperature attained while cooking pork destroys the virus completely. But the condition lays here is one should eat a properly handled and cooked pork, rather than relying on the local shops, which are famous for offering tasty non veg dishes.
Myth Number 2: Young, healthy people shouldn’t worry
Unlike the other seasonal flus that hit the elder people the worst, Swine flu is a nightmare for everyone. Medical studies have proved that the health condition and age do not matter in any way when it comes to the H1N1. It is primarily due to the fact that regardless of the age and health, the human body does not possess any immunity against the swine flu.
Infact, it has been seen that young people are more vulnerable to the disease as compared to their old counterparts. So even if you are a sports person or a body builder, chances of you getting the flu are likely to be as same as any elderly person.
Thus, it is advised that one should be a vigilant hand washer. From time to time, get properly vaccinated of the flu and avoid proximity with the infected person.
Myth Number 3: Donning a mask will keep you 100% safe
Most health care experts feel that vaccines and regular handwash are rather more effective than wearing a mask. There are two conditions in which one wears a mask, if he is infected or if he is trying to prevent himself from the disease. In the first case, donning the mask would be effective in preventing the spread of airborne particles which can infect others.
While in the other case, chances of getting the infection would still be there if not that much high. Infact, some experts also believe that wearing masks in the open can give people a false sense of security from the Swine flu.
Myth Number 4: If you get the first symptom of flu, go to the doctor immediately
One should not rush to the doctor immediately, if any symptom likely to that of the disease arises. It can be a common seasonal flu as well. If your flu is mild, then the best thing to do is stay at home and relax. Take fever/pain reducer and get plenty of rest and fluids.
A trip to the medical specialist might expose you to the other swine flu patients. However, if the flu persists for long and does not gets cured with normal flu medicines, one should visit the doctor right away.
Do’s and Don’t’s that one should strictly follow
Germ proof your skin: As swine flu is in its full swing, one should make a habit of washing his hands well and often. After using bathroom or touching common objects, one must clean his hands with warm water and soap for about 20 seconds.
Keep your distance: While moving in public transport or at work or anywhere, one should maintain distance with the flu infected people. As soon as you get a hint of symptoms like cough and sneezing, you must get alert and maintain a minimum distance of around 6 to 10 feet from the infected person.
Take the right Medicine: One of the most effective medicine available in the market for curing influenza is Tamiflu. Tamiflu must be taken immediately in the first 2 days of illness onset. One can even take Tylenol or NSAID for fever reduction and Ibuprofen for muscle pain relief.
Avoid rubbing eyes, mouth and nose: As the H1N1 virus transmites through our sensory organs like ear and nose, one must avoid touching himself. In a daily routine, a person touches many things, at his workplace, shopping center, restaurant, etc.
Chances that he possibly transfers some of the flu germs by frequently touching his eyes, nose and mouth would be too much as these things go unnoticed. Thus, one must keep a check on these things and avoid them as much as possible.
Don’t panic: Swine flu is just like any other flu. Its symptoms are also quite similar to the seasonal flu at the early stage. If one develops any kind of flu symptoms, he should take proper medication and rest. One should not panic and immediately rush to the hospital because it can be the seasonal common cold as well. First be sure and then proceed as per the requirements.