There has been a rising trend in Swine Flu cases in Maharashtra this year as per the state’s health department’s report.
The state reported 142 cases between Januaray 1 and July 21 including 7 deaths. This has raised many concerns among people about the infectious virus that first made its appearance in 2009. The Swine Flu, scientifically known as H1N1 flu is a kind of influenza A virus. It is caused by the H1N1 strain of the flu virus and has now come to be known as a seasonal flu. It was discovered in 2009 by scientists and had infected people all across the world. According to Mayo Clinic, the virus is a combination of viruses from birds, pigs and humans.
Is Swine Flu season back?
In an interview with ANI, doctors were asked to comment on the rising Swine Flu cases and give directions to the general public about if one should be worried about the viral infection. “Swine flu season is beginning. It’s caused by influenza virus, which resides in pigs. Symptoms of swine flu include fever, sore throat & runny nose,so they’re mainly the upper respiratory symptoms,”said Dr Avi Kumar, Sr Consultant Pulmonology at Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, Delhi.
Who is at risk for contracting Swine Flu?
Dr Kumar further said, “Swine Flu generally spreads from people who handle pigs, human to human transmission can happen. So, it’s important to wash hands regularly. One shouldn’t go to crowded places. Elderly patients & those with comorbidities are at risk.”
Apart from this, Dr S Chatterjee, Sr Consultant Internal Medicine at Indraprastha Apollo also stated that Swine Flu can affect other organs of the body.
“Swine flu can affect other organs of body, it can have different symptoms when it involves different organs. Prevention of infection is possible by wearing a mask. Not too many cases reported in Delhi,” he said.
How to protect yourself from Swine Flu?
Flu vaccine is the most effective way to prevent Swine Flu infections. There are other precautions as well which are quite similar to Covid-19 precautions such as:
- When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and then wash your hands, thereafter
- Make sure you sanitise surfaces before touching them
- Don’t touch your face such as eyes, nose and mouth when in public places
- Wash your hands from time to time. Using soap and water is the best option but you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if that’s not available
- Maintain social distance from people in crowded places and during peak flu time