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Swine Flu Guide: All You Need to Know about the Global Pandemic Disease!

Around 8,648 Swine Flu cases were reported and 345 deaths were caused by Swine Flu till May 7, 2017

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Symptoms of Swine Flu
Symptoms of Swine Flu. Wikimedia
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  • Swine flu is a disease that attacks the respiratory tract of pigs, is caused by influenza viruses
  • The first time when Swine Flu was identified in humans was in the year 2009 in Mexico
  • Consult your doctor if you think you are at a higher risk of acquiring this infection

New Delhi (India), Aug 22, 2017: Swine Flu can get transferred from one person to another. Thus, it creates a panic situation whenever a single person is infected with this disease. To avoid catching this disease we can take some precautions.

As per the data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare India- there has been 8,648 Swine Flu cases and 345 deaths caused by this disease till May 7, 2017. There were 1,786 Swine Flu cases and 265 deaths caused by it in 2016. Till May 7, Tamil Nadu alone has had 2,798 cases of it, 181 and 130 people suffered at the hands of this disease in Maharashtra and Gujarat respectively.  The worst years for Swine Flu outbreak in India were 2009-10 when it affected almost 50,000 people and took more than 2,700 lives across the country.

According to ANI report, some important guidelines on diagnosis of  Swine Flu are given below. We have also mentioned the steps one should take if they catch Swine Flu and other crucial pointers which you don’t want to miss.

What is Swine Flu?

Swine flu is a disease that attacks the respiratory tract of pigs, is caused by influenza viruses. The symptoms shown by an infected animal are barking cough, decreased appetite, listless behavior and nasal secretions. The virus can mutate and get easily transmissible in humans.

Also Read: 40 swine flu cases in Delhi already in 2016

Where did it originate from?

The first time when Swine Flu was identified in humans was in the year 2009 in Mexico. After a few months, the very first of the swine flu cases were reported; slowly the rate, at which H1N1-related illness started spreading, was increasing around the globe. As a result, in August 2010 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the infection ‘a global pandemic’ (a disease prevalent all over the world).

Even now, H1N1 has not stopped spreading is still getting circulated in humans, as a ‘seasonal flu virus’ and protection against this strain was thus included in seasonal flu vaccines. More recently, another strain, H3N2 infected humans in 2011.

What is the time period till this disease lasts?

Generally, the incubation period of a swine flu virus is between 3 to 7 days but if one catches a serious infection it can last about 9 or even 10 days.

What are the symptoms?

H1N1 flu symptoms take some time to develop, it takes around 1 to 3 days in humans. This is after they are exposed to the virus.

Some Common symptoms are:

  • Body Ache
  • In some cases Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Watery or red eyes
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • vomiting

Also Read: Are you safe? Swine Flu virus mutates in India, becomes more lethal, says MIT study

Is Vaccination possible and available?

If you want to reduce the risk of contracting the influenza virus, it can be done through vaccinations. Consult your doctor if you think you are at a higher risk of acquiring this infection. The need to get vaccinated increases if one is traveling to a place where many cases have been recently reported.

The High-risk groups are:

  • Children: who are younger than 5 yrs of age, especially those who are younger than 2 yrs
  • Senior citizens: Those 65 years and older
  • Pregnant women: who are within 2 weeks of delivery, including those women who have had a miscarriage
  • Chronic Medical Conditions: People suffering from it. Chronic Medical Conditions like heart disease, diabetes asthma, kidney, liver or blood disease, emphysema and neuromuscular disease
  • Those who are immunosuppressed (reduction of the activation or efficacy of the immune system) due to some particular medications or because of HIV

How to get it Diagnosed?

If you want to get it diagnosed, it can be done by taking a nose or throat swab. This should be done within the first 5 days of the illness, this being the most infectious period of the disease. Only a few labs are authorized to conduct Swine Flu tests. The Swab results take 8 to 24 hours, after seeing the results and consulting the doctor, the patient will know if he/she has this disease. Some labs are well equipped with a skilled technician if you prefer a home collection of the sample. “The expert team of pathologists is also able to guide clinicians and patients for report analysis and queries surrounding swine flu diagnosis,” mentions ANI report.

Apart from taking vaccines and getting tested for Swine Flu. One of the easiest ways to prevent catching swine flu is by maintaining a basic hygiene routine which includes washing your hands on a regular basis.

 

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Sudan Suffers From A Chikungunya Outbreak

Activists on social media said the number of people infected by the disease was much higher than the government's figure and that there had been deaths not documented by the government.

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A woman sits inside a mosquito tent in the town of Abyei, Sudan. VOA

More than 11,000 people in Sudan’s eastern state of Kassala have been infected over the past month by Chikungunya, a debilitating mosquito-borne viral disease, but no deaths have been reported, a Sudanese official said Tuesday.

Chikungunya is spread by two mosquito species and can cause severe symptoms, which develop three to seven days after a person is bitten by an infected mosquito. They include high fever, headache, muscle pain, back pain and rash. In rare cases, it is fatal. There are no dedicated treatments or vaccines for Chikungunya.

“So far official statistics say that about 11,000 people were infected, and there haven’t been any documented cases of death because of the Chikungunya fever,” said Magzoub Abou Moussa, a spokesman for the Kassala state administration.

Chikungunya
Omar al Bashir, President of Sudan, wikimedia commons

Heavy rains

The outbreak began in recent weeks when heavy rains pummeled the area, which led to the flooding of a major river in Kassala.

Abou Moussa said his state had received health and technical aid from Sudan’s health ministry, but expressed concern over the spread of the virus and called for further help.

Eyewitnesses said they had seen planes on Monday sweeping over the state, spraying mosquito pesticides.

Sudanese opposition parties have accused the government of failing to deal with the situation in Kassala and called for international organizations’ help.

chikungunya
Women sit in line on the ground waiting to receive food distributed by the World Food Program (WFP) in Padeah, South Sudan, March 1, 2017. VOA

“We hold the government fully responsible for the spread of the epidemic,” said a statement from the National Umma Party, the largest opposition party. “We call on civil society organizations and the World Health Organization to help the people of Kassala.”

Also Read: Sudan Stops 13 Diplomatic and 4 Consular Missions Due to Financial Crisis

Activists on social media said the number of people infected by the disease was much higher than the government’s figure and that there had been deaths not documented by the government. (VOA)