Swine flu is the popular name for Influenza (Flu) caused by a relatively new strain of Influenza virus A. The virus appeared to be a new strain H1N1 which resulted when a previous triple re assortment of bird, swine and human flu viruses further combined with a Eurasian pig flu virus, leading to the term “swine flu”. The virus actually results in respiratory infection.
Swine influenza virus was first isolated from pigs in 1930 in the U.S. And in human, it was initially seen in Mexico in 2009. It started spreading fast around the world, so the World Health Organization called it a pandemic that time. Since then, people have continued to get sick from swine flu.
Influenza virus is spread when infected people cough or sneeze. They spray tiny drops of the virus into the air. When we inhale contaminated droplets or transfer live virus from a contaminated surface to our eyes, nose or mouth they infect the cells lining your nose, throat and lungs and hence we catch swine flu. But we can’t catch swine flu from eating pork.
The incubation period for swine flu is about one to four days. This means is we will start to experience flu symptoms anywhere between 24 hours and 4 days after the exposure.
Same antiviral drugs that are used to treat seasonal flu also work against H1N1 swine flu. Most commonly used antiviral are Oseltamivir, peramivir , and zanamivir. These antiviral drugs reduces the severity of symptoms, and possibly the risk of complications. But, flu viruses can develop resistance to these drugs. Vaccination is the best way to prevent or reduce the chances of becoming infected with influenza viruses.
Besides a medications, there are other things you can do to stay healthy.