Feb 2, 2016

Swine Flu – Etymology, Anatomy and Treatment

Sniffing I’ve got a bad cold. Since three days I’ve been suffering from high fever, along with runny nose, could these be swine flu symptoms?

The above questions can only be answered with a single word, H1N1 Swine Flu Virus. Yes this is a truth that the swine flu (H1N1) has gotten our attention tremendously within a short period of time. People are becoming aware of this disease increasingly. The swine flu symptoms, is so similar with that of influenza, that the recognition process is quite difficult.


As far as the history of H1N1 is concerned, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, has designated Swine Influenza, commonly known as Swine Flu, is a respiratory disease for pigs, caused by the type A Influenza Virus. It usually causes regular outbreaks, but the level of illness, along with the death rate is low in pigs. This virus circulates among them all through the year, however the outbreak occurs at the late falls. In comparison to this humans are all affected much more badly.

An infection in the respiratory track, caused by the influenza virus, results in severe barking cough, and loss of appetite. It does not stop here, rather is always accompanied by nasal secretions, and listless behavior. Since this virus can actually mutate easily, and is effortlessly transmitted among humans, swine flu causes severe damage to human health. This ailment is supposed to be caused by type A Influenza Virus, there are some subtypes of it, namely, H1N1, H1N2, H2N3, H3N1, and H3N2.

Focusing on its origin, investigators decided that swine flu strain was first seen in Mexico. It was found to be infecting people with two main surface antigens, known as, H1 (hemagglutinin type 1) and N1 (neuraminidase type1). Finally, in the 2010, The World Health Organization (WHO) declared this virus a global pandemic infection.

The Transmission:

When we are talking about Swine Flu, it is said to be immensely contagious and gets very easily transmitted from one person to other by inhalation or even ingestion of droplets containing virus with sneezing or coughing.

Another way in which you are exposed to this virus at a tremendous rate, is by having an exposure to poultry and swine.


When it comes to the detection of Swine Flu, the first thing which must be done, is to diagnose it correctly and distinguish from the symptoms of Flu. It is a fact that symptoms of swine flu in people is expected to be quite similar to the symptoms of regular human influenza.

Let us have a detailed inspection in this genre. The symptoms are

  1. High fever, along with sore throat and cough.
  2. Tremendous chills, along with fatigue and headache
  3. At some instances studies have shown that the patients often report of diarrhea and vomiting

Though the above mentioned symptoms are present in every person, they are not as risky as the respiratory failure is. In fact most common cause of death in this case, is related to the respiratory failure. Accompanying this at times even pneumonia, ultimately leading to sepsis leads to death of the patient. The occurrence of dehydration, that is, excessive vomiting and diarrhea, along with electrolyte imbalance and kidney also accounts for the cause of death.

The Fatality

The fatality of h1n1 symptoms, is too high, and it becomes especially risky for everyone. However there are some people who can be designated under the high risk groups and should be treated on an immediate basis. They are

  • Pregnant women
  • The patients with higher respiratory infections, especially children below 5 years of age.
  • Adults who are above 65 years of age.
  • People with the chronic pulmonary disease (such as asthma), the cardiovascular disease and kidney, liver, or metabolic disorders
  • Individuals who are suffering from immunosuppression, owing to cancer or other chemotherapy and presence of HIV
  • Residents who are at nursing homes and other chronic-care facilities.

How to Diagnose H1N1

The patient complaining of the above symptoms, along with having a history of exposure to a diagnosed case of H1N1 flu, should be raised a suspicion. Apart from a similarity of the symptoms, there should always be a clinical diagnosis for the same, with noted x-rays and blood reports, in order to diagnose the respiratory functions.


As soon as the disease struck the country, there was a complete upheaval in the society with two major questions;

  1. What is swine flu?
  2. Swine flu prevention?

As far as the treatment of the H1N1 virus is concerned, there is nothing particularly specified. However Government has played an enormous role in maintaining balance and eradicating the disease from India. From the implementation of extra testing facilities, to even enhancing the stock of diagnostic kit, everything was payed special attention.

High-end and rapid lab tests were being conducted under the expertise of professionals, so that the recognition of the virus is done at an absolute basis and complete acuteness. Hospitals and medical centers were kept in high alert for the process of treating everyone with precision.

The Medication

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Oseltamivir (Tamiflu), which is administered orally and Zanamivir (Relenza) must be immediately given for the purpose of treating the disease accurately.


Apart from the medication there has also been implementation of some preventive vaccination, which can indeed help you build an immunity against the disease. The swine flu vaccine is indeed of great help. This annual vaccination is the most effective solution for treating this disease, as the drifting viruses can be treated appropriately. This can reduce the infection to a certain extent, and prevents for the expansion of the same.

Alternate Therapies

There is no scientific efficacy or rather establishment to the fact that alternative medicines like Nilgiri leaves/oil, cardamom, camphor, or any other indigenous medicines have the capacity to cure Swine Flu. Despite of this uncertainty, this can be considered as one of the popular therapy, or rather a preventive measure. Apart from this there has been various communication and awareness programs being established for the purpose of creating a responsiveness about the symptoms and treatments of Swine Flu.

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