Swine Flu (Swine Influenza A [H1N1 and H3N2v] Virus)

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Swine Flu

Swine flu is caused by viruses that infect the respiratory tract of pigs, resulting in nasal secretions, a barking cough, decreased appetite, and listless behavior. Swine flu produces most of the same symptoms in pigs as human flu produces in people. Swine influenza virus was first isolated in 1930 in the U.S. and has been recognized by pork producers and veterinarians to cause infections in pigs worldwide. In a number of instances, people have developed the swine flu infection when they are closely associated with pigs (for example, farmers, and pork processors. In most instances, the cross-species infections have remained in local areas and have not caused national or worldwide infections in either pigs or humans. However, this cross-species situation with influenza viruses has had the potential to change.

In 2009 investigators decided the so-called “swine flu” strain should be termed as novel H1N1 flu since it was mainly found infecting people and exhibits two main surface antigens, H1 (hemagglutinin type 1) and N1 (neuraminidase type1). The eight RNA strands from novel H1N1 flu have one strand derived from human flu strains, two from avian (bird) strains, and five from swine strains.

Influenza viruses that normally circulate in pigs are called “variant” viruses when they are found in people. Influenza A H3N2 variant viruses (also known as “H3N2v” viruses) with the matrix (M) gene were first detected in people in July 2011. The viruses were first identified in U.S. pigs in 2010.

Mode of Transmission
Swine flu is transmitted from person to person by inhalation or ingestion of droplets containing virus from people sneezing or coughing. incubation period for swine flu is about one to four days, with the average being two days; in some people, the incubation period may be as long as about seven days in adults and children. Usually swine flu resolves after three to seven days, but the malaise and cough can persist two weeks or more in some patients

Symptoms

• Body aches
• Chills
• Cough
• Diarrhea (less common)
• Headache
• Sore throat
• Temperature (fever)
• Tiredness (fatigue)
• Vomiting (less common).

Prevention of Swine flu

• Wash hands regularly
• Adequate sleep
• Exercise
• Try to be stress free
• Plenty of liquids
• Eat balanced diet
• Do not get close to people who are sick
• Stay away from crowded areas

Treatments and drugs

• Most cases of flu, including H1N1 flu, require only symptom relief
• The antiviral drugs oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza) are sometimes prescribed within the first day or two of symptoms to reduce the severity of your symptoms, and possibly the risk of complications. But, flu viruses can develop resistance to these drugs.
• To make development of resistance less likely and maintain supplies of these drugs for those who need them most, antivirals are reserved for people at high risk of complications.

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