Swine Flu: Know about the Protection Measures and How It Differs from Covid 19

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Currently, the world is in a serious battle against the contagious disease, Covid 19, or the novel coronavirus disease caused by the virus, SARS-CoV-2. There are over 20 million cases so far, and at the same time, scientists are trying the best to save lives by developing a vaccine. The symptoms of this respiratory disease look similar to swine flu symptoms; however, the two illnesses differ in many aspects.

There are millions of viruses and bacteria living on this planet. Some are beneficial, whereas some of them are pathogens that are responsible for certain diseases. The H1N1 virus (or Influenza A variant subtype H1N1) causes respiratory disease in humans known as the H1N1 flu. It is also known as the ‘Swine Flu’ since the virus was similar to the influenza viruses found among pigs. The flu virus is a combination of influenza viruses in pigs, birds, and humans. In 2009, this disease was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The virus first appeared in Mexico in April 2009 and spread to various countries, affecting lakhs of people worldwide. The Swine Flu India cases too alarmed the people in the country.

Causes and Symptoms

In 1918, the H1N1 influenza virus led to a dangerous pandemic known as the Spanish flu. It affected around 500 million people worldwide and caused deaths of 50 to 100 million people. The new strain of H1N1 swine flu occurred in 2009 and spread quickly among humans. However, this virus did not transfer from pigs to humans. It is transmitted among humans through tiny airborne droplets when someone coughs or sneezes or through direct contact. The disease enters humans upon inhaling the air contaminated with the virus or through contaminated surfaces. The influenza virus infects the lining of cells in the nose, throat, and lungs.

The swine flu does not occur by consuming pork.

After getting exposed to the virus, a person would show signs of the disease in one to four days. The common symptoms of this disease include: 

  • Runny Nose
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore Throat
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Body Ache
  • Vomiting and Diarrhea

In severe cases, complications may occur, such as pneumonia, neurological problems like seizures, worsening of medical conditions like asthma, and heart problem, and even failure of the respiratory system. 

Prevention Measures

Mostly, patients recover from the flu with any extensive medical support. However, there are anti-viral drugs used for the treatment of seasonal flu and found to be useful for treating swine flu. Some people are suggesting that there is swine flu treatment in Ayurveda and other forms of alternative medicine that provides relief and cure.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), annual flu vaccination is recommended for all age groups. The Swine Flu Vaccine offers protection against the flu viruses. It is available in the form of an injection or a nasal spray.

Some ways to prevent spread with the viruses are:

  • Staying at home especially those who are sick
  • Ensuring hygiene such as washing hands regularly
  • Wearing face masks, and covering coughs and sneezes
  • Avoiding going to a crowded place
  • Eating foods that boost immunity
  • Getting adequate sleep for stronger immunity 

There are certain groups of people who are at high risk and thus need to take precautions. They include senior citizens, pregnant women, children below five years, and people with specific medical conditions. 

Swine Flu and COVID 19: The Differences

According to the World Health Organization, Covid 19 is more deadly than swine flu. Both diseases cause serious respiratory illnesses. In the case of the Swine Flu Pandemic, young adults were more susceptible. In contrast, the novel coronavirus disease poses high risks for the elderly population and also for those with a weak immune system. Furthermore, in swine flu cases, the patients were responding well to the treatment. As of now, there is no vaccination or specific anti-viral drugs for the treatment of coronavirus disease.

>>Read: All You Need to Know About Coronavirus

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