Swine flu is a disease of the pigs that spread among pigs by direct and indirect contact. This disease is rare in humans, but people who work with swine, especially people with intense exposures, are at a risk of catching swine influenza.
Flu Symptoms Understanding what typical flu symptoms are in children can help you figure out if your child is sick with the flu. Flu symptoms usually include a sudden onset of:
- high fever, although not everyone with the flu has a fever
- muscle aches and pains
- weakness and tiredness
- dry cough
- sore throat
- stuffy or runny nose
- nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea (least common flu symptoms)
Transmission of Swine flu in humans: People who work either in poultry and swine with intense exposures are increased risk of zoonotic infection with influenza virus and constitute of human hosts in which zoonosis and reassortment can occur.
Prevention Prevention of swine influenza has three components: 1. Prevention in swine 2. Prevention of transmission to humans 3. Prevention of its spread among humans
Prevention in swine: The spread of swine influenza can be controlled by executing facility management, herd management and vaccination. Standard commercial swine flu vaccines are effective in controlling the infection, when the virus strains match enough to have significant cross protection and custom vaccines should be given to the animals.
Prevention of transmission to humans: The transmission from swine to human is believed to occur mainly in swine farms where farmers are in close contact with live pigs. Since the outbreak of transmission had occurred, the farmers were requested to use face mask while treating with infected animals.
Prevention of spread in humans: Influenza spreads between humans through coughing or sneezing but it is restricted to pork products, since the virus is not transmitted through food. Swine flu in humans is most contagious during the first five days of the illness although some people, most commonly children can remain contagious for up to 10 days. The standard infection control, which includes frequent washing of hands with soap and water or with alcohol based hand sanitizers. A new H1N1 starin vaccines are being developed and could be ready as early as June 2009.
Treatment: If a person becomes sick with swine flu, antiviral drugs can make the illness milder and make the patient feel better. As soon as the symptoms are detected, antiviral drugs should be started soon. The US CDC recommends ostelamivir and zanamivir for the treatment and prevention of infection with swine flu influenza viruses. The virus outbreak in 2009 were found be resistant to amanatadine and rimantadine.
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