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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
  • 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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Usage of Opioids Increases Among People with Non-Cancer Pain

Number of people with chronic non-cancer pain prescribed an opioid medicine increase

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Opioids
The number of people with chronic non-cancer pain prescribed opioids increased in the last two-and-a-half decades. Pixabay

The number of people with chronic non-cancer pain prescribed an opioids worldwide increased in the last two-and-a-half decades, say health researchers.

Chronic pain unrelated to cancer includes conditions such as chronic lower back pain, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

The research, published in the Journal of Internal Medicin, spanned eight countries and evaluated 42 published studies that included 5,059,098 people with chronic pain conditions (other than cancer). Two-thirds of the studies were from the US; one study was from Australia and the other studies were from the United Kingdom, Norway, India, Spain, Denmark and Canada.

“Over this period, on average around 30 per cent of people with chronic pain were prescribed an opioid medicine,” said study lead author Stephanie Mathieson from the University of Sydney in Australia. “We noted that a higher proportion of people were prescribed a strong opioid medicine such as oxycodone compared to weak opioid pain-relieving medicines,” Mathieson added.

Opioids
In the early studies, opioids were prescribed to about 20 per cent of patients experiencing chronic pain. Pixabay

According to the researchers, in the period 1991-2015, prescribing of opioid medicines increased markedly. In the early studies, opioid medicines were prescribed to about 20 per cent of patients experiencing chronic pain but the later studies report rates of more than 40 per cent.

According to the findings, on average over this period approximately one in three patients (30.7 per cent) were prescribed an opioid medicine. The study found that 42 per cent of patients with chronic lower back pain were prescribed an opioid andthe average age of those prescribed an opioid medicine was 55.7 years.

In 17 studies that described the type of opioid pain relievers prescribed: 24.1 per cent were strong combination products containing opioids (eg oxycodone plus paracetamol), 18.4 per cent were strong opioids (eg oxycodone, morphine, fentanyl) and 8.5 percent were weak opioids (eg codeine, tramadol).

Also Read- Here’s How Dairy Milk Consumption Can Lead to Breast Cancer

The study aimed to establish a baseline for how commonly opioids are prescribed for people with chronic pain conditions (other than cancer). But the authors discovered a crucial evidence gap in prescription data in countries outside of the US. “While we have sufficient data for this purpose for the US, we have little or no data for other countries,” the authors wrote. (IANS)