What are the Swine Flu Symptoms? Get the Swine Flu Facts and Updates here at HealthAndSurvival.com
Key points regarding swine flu, (Updated Wednesday , June 18th, 2009)
-The swine flu A (H1N1) is a viral infection that originated from pigs and was first isolated from pigs in the 1930s.
-From 2005 up to 2009, 10 cases of swine flu were reported in the USA according to the CDC.
-As of June 18th- According to the CDC, 17,855 cases of swine flu were confirmed as of June 18th, 2009, including 44 deaths. New York has the most deaths, with 13.
-As of June 18th, the WHO (World Health Organization) states 70 countries have confirmed cases of influenza A(H1N1) infection.
The World Health Organization elevated the worldwide pandemic alert level to Phase 5, on April 29, 2009. Phase 5 is called when there is a “strong signal that a pandemic is imminent and that the time to finalize the organization, communication, and implementation of the planned mitigation measures is short.”
Phase 6 is the highest level. On June 11th, the WHO raised the level to Phase 6, indicating that the flu has spread worldwide.
-Antibiotics do not help this infection since it is not from a bacteria. The only medicines which help are antivirals-
-The flu usually strikes during the Winter months and early spring. An epidemic this late is unusual. However, there have been reports of swine flu occurring during summer camps during the summer of 2009.
Swine Flu Deaths
By May 2nd, 2009m the WHO stated there was another 159 probable swine flu deaths, and 1,300 people were hospitalized. The earliest case of swine flu was traced to patient zero- a 5 year old boy in La Gloria, Mexico. The US Company, Smithfield Farms, owns pig farm in town, but none of the pigs have tested positive. Smithfield Farms denied that any of their pigs were infected in a WSJ article in May.
Swine Flu Symptoms
The swine flu symptoms reported when infected with the swine flu are similar to the symptoms of the influenza virus most are familiar with. The good news is that most people who become infected will do fine and will not have any long term complications. Those who are immune compromised, older or pregnant may be at higher risk of complications or serious respiratory illness. The most common swine flu symptoms include:
- Nasal Congestion
- Body aches
- Joint Pains
- Sore throat
- Decreased energy
- Rarely death in more severe cases, especially from pneumonia.
The viral infection is transmitted to humans who are in contact with swine, although there are several cases of swine flu in people who had no known exposure to either infected people or pigs. Once the species barrier is crossed, human to human transmission can occur with casual contact or airborne transmission, like when one sneezes or coughs. Eating pork products will not cause one to develop the swine flu. Basically, this flu is passed from one person to another like any cold of flu infection.
Prevention of Swine Flu
Washing hands routinely with soap and warm water, and wearing a N99 mask/respirator, such as the Wein ViraMask may also be helpful if you must be in public places. The Wein mask/respirator is strapless and adheres tightly to all faces. When used appropriately, it does not leak. N99 masks provide 100 x more protection than a N95 mask, which are sill a decent option. 3M is also a manufacturer of such masks. If you are planning on traveling by air or train, having a mask available would be a good idea in case it is needed. Also, avoid contact with sick people whenever possible. If you are sick, stay home.
Use alcohol based hand sanitizers to minimize infection risk. Some also use the Wein Air Supply Personal Air Purifier to help reduce exposure to airborne germs. Further, we know that eating healthy food, getting plenty of sleep and keeping your immune system strong can help prevent infections. Vitamin D supplementation may also be of benefit when taken in adequate doses.
Diagnosis of Swine Flu
Remember- most with flu symptoms simply have a viral infection and NOT the swine flu. Maintaining adequate hydration is very important if you contract any viral illness. The swine flu is diagnosed when a physician suspects infection, and sends a nasopharyngeal swab ( a Q-tip of shorts placed about 2 inches in your nose towards your throat) in a special viral collection container to a special lab to be tested.
Treatment of Swine Flu
If you contract the swine flu, there are 2 flu medications which can be helpful. The CDC recommends the use of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) or zanamivir (Relenza) for the treatment and/or prevention of infection with swine influenza viruses. These medications can also be used for the usual avian influenza. Symptomatic care is most important. Antibiotics will not help. Ask your doctor about your options. Those at high risk should strongly be considered for treatment with medications. High risk patients include those with diabetes, heart disease, immune compromised, seniors over age 65.
Swine Flu Vaccine
On June 12, a new vaccine was apparently produced by Novartis Pharmaceuticals. If you did receive a flu vaccine this year, it will not offer you protection against the swine flu. Baxter Pharmaceuticals however issued a press release saying they are working on a vaccine also. Whether these will prove to be effective is unknown. In 1976, the swine flu vaccine actually killed more people that it helped (learn more).
A study by Dr. Cannell from California also showed that vitamin D can help prevent traditional influenza infections by strengthening the immune system. A daily intake of 2,000 IU daily should be taken at minimum, by most. A dose of up to 10,000 IU of vitamin D daily for a few days may also be helpful. Talk to your doctor about this. However, there are no studies specifically which show swine flu is prevented by vitamin D. Read more about vitamin D’s potential and the swine flu. or visit the vitaminDcouncil.org
Talk to your physician if you have concerns or other questions regarding swine flu.
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