Swine flu or H1N1 virus is the name for influenza type A virus that affects pigs. Although it doesn’t affect humans, it was declared a pandemic in August 2010. Now it has become a contagious disease which affects people throughout the world.
Swine flu like other influenza viruses or flu is highly contagious and can spread quickly from one person to another. Coughing or sneezing can spread germs in the air and the H1N1 virus may linger on the walls, furniture, doorknobs, etc., of your house and can infect another person. Swine flu is dangerous, which is why it is important that you learn how to prevent it.
How to Prevent Swine Flu
The symptoms of swine flu are similar to the symptoms of seasonal influenza or flu. Most common symptoms of swine flu include fever, coughing, sneezing, sore throat, runny nose, tiredness, body ache, vomiting, diarrhoea, and lack of appetite. Here are some precautionary measures that you can take to prevent the swine flu from spreading.
1. Stay at Home
If you have flu-like symptoms then stay at home and take rest. If you go out in public and cough or sneeze, the virus may spread and may infect more people. So it’s best that you stay in bed for a few days.
2. Use a Tissue While Coughing or Sneezing
Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. You can use a tissue or your arm – do not use your hands. This way the virus and germs won’t transfer to the different objects or people you touch. You can also wear a mask to prevent swine flu from spreading.
3. Wash Your Hands Frequently
Swine flu is contagious and spreads through the virus in the air. So wash your hands frequently, especially after coughing or sneezing.
4. Use a Hand Sanitiser
In the flu season, carry a hand sanitiser wherever you go. Also, use sanitiser if you touch anything that has come in contact with an infected person. Use an alcohol-based sanitiser if possible.
5. Avoid Using Public Facilities
Avoid using public washrooms or going out in the crowds if you have flu-like symptoms or if you live in an area where this epidemic has hit. Stay at home and avoid any crowded area.
6. Be Careful while Travelling
You are more prone to catching infections if you travel by public transport like a bus or train on a daily basis. If you don’t want this infection to affect you then you must take care of yourself. Whenever you travel by bus or train, wear a mask. Also, when you return home, wash your hands, then only touch anything in your house.
7. Eat Healthy Food
Eat healthy food and drink lots of water. Also, wash the fruits and vegetables thoroughly before consuming them.
8. Clean Up
Clean the utensils, doorknobs, toys, books, countertops, linens, etc to prevent the swine flu virus from spreading.
9. Visit a Doctor
If you develop the symptoms of swine flu, like high fiver or experience body pain, then visit a doctor immediately. He will prescribe the right medication and you will feel better soon.
10. Take an Injection
The best thing that you can do to prevent this infection from affecting you is taking a flu shot. Consult your doctor, if there is an injection or vaccine for swine flu, take it in time and stay healthy.
Here are some frequently asked questions on swine flu:
1. Who Is At the Risk of Developing Swine Flu?
People above the age of 65 years may get swine flu. Pregnant women, diabetic people, people suffering from chronic illness of heart, lungs, kidney or liver or people with low immunity, and children under the age of 5 years may also get swine flu.
2. How Can I Get Rid of Swine Flu Virus from Surfaces?
Clean the surfaces and objects that people touch. Cleaning and scrubbing with detergent and water can remove germs and viruses from most of the surfaces. Use disinfectants to clean the areas where proper scrubbing by detergent is not possible. Take care to clean surfaces/objects which come most in contact with hands like computers, mobiles, door handles/doorknobs, switches, taps, etc.
3. What Should I Do If I Have the Symptoms of Swine Flu?
If you develop the symptoms of swine flu, then try to stay at home and take rest as much as possible. Contact your doctor and ask for the right medicines to curb the symptoms in time. Maintain a distance from your family members and friends for their benefit – you don’t want to spread the infection to them. Stay indoors and take proper medications. If going out is unavoidable, then take proper precautions like wearing a mask and sanitizing your hands to avoid the virus from transmitting.