Swine Flu has become an annual seasonal flu in Nepal. Reported for the first time in 2009, the National Public Health Laboratory reported 168 people diagnosed with seasonal influenza from 17 November 2018 to 10 January 2019.
Among them, 146 were diagnosed with Influenza A (H1N1) PDM, 9 were diagnosed with influenza A H3 and 13 people were diagnosed with Influenza B.
Swine flu cases have been increasing in Nepal with air pollution being the main cause of it. Reports also suggest that there is a close relation between air pollution and increased cases of flu-related admissions in hospital.
What is Swine Flu or Swine Influenza (H1N1)?
Swine influenza (H1N1) is a seasonal flu that has symptoms similar to regular flu. It originated in pigs, and evolved to infect humans as well. The type A influenza virus is a combination of swine, avian and human genetic material ,mixed together in pigs and transmitted to humans.
Swine flu was first diagnosed in a 10-year-old girl in California in 2009. It was declared a global pandemic in June 2009 by World Health Organisation due to the virus infecting people annually during flu season. The pandemic was declared over in August of 2010, however cases still persist in countries like Nepal. Swine flu is also referred to as H1N1v nowadays, where the ‘v’ signifies variant (commonly found in animals but also detected in humans).
Swine flu is very contagious and can spread from saliva and mucus particles. Transmission occurs through human contact, infected air, and by contact on surfaces that are contaminated by the virus. However, you can’t get influenza by eating thoroughly prepared and well-cooked pork.
Symptoms of Swine Flu
The symptoms for Swine Flu are coincident with seasonal flu.
- Fever, body aches & headaches
- Loss of appetite
- Cough & sore throat
- Fatigue, nausea, vomiting & diarrhea
- Irritation in the eyes & nose.
It isn’t necessary for a person to visit the doctor right away if these symptoms are noticed. However, people with compromised or weak immune systems, pregnant women, and people with chronic illnesses such as asthma, diabetes and heart conditions must seek medical attention.
Diagnosing Swine Flu
The swine flu diagnosis is done by a swab test. A swab from the throat or nose of the patient is taken within the first four to five days of the sickness and analyzed. Other tests include Rapid Influenza Diagnostic Tests and molecular assays which differentiates and diagnoses the type of virus more accurately.
Treating Swine Flu
Swine flu is caused by a virus. Hence, a few antiviral medications, such as Oseltamivir (Tamiflu), Peramivir (Rapivab) and Zanamivir (Relenza) can be used to treat it. These medications shorten the duration of the illness, lessen the severity of the symptoms, and/or act as a preventive measure to avoid getting the flu in the first place.
Preventing Swine Flu
The vaccination for seasonal flu can also be used for Swine Flu in the form of a flu shot or nasal spray. Other measures that can be adopted are sanitizing hands properly, using respiratory mask in public places, and resting at home when you are sick so that the virus doesn’t spread.
Get complete treatment and immunization for all kinds of flu
Swacon International Hospital focuses on regular health checkups to prevent any illness or diseases, and our qualified staff and equipment can make sure that you get the proper treatments you require. We also provide immunizations necessary to fight common diseases prevalent in Nepal.
Swacon Hospital also provides prior consultation for your symptoms, and healthcare solutions that align with them. The health care packages at Swacon helps patients diagnose and treat their illnesses at the right time.