Swine Flu! The name itself sends a chill down the spine. This epidemic disease is a deadly affair with no definite cure so far. It has been barely nine months and the swine flu virus has yet again started a fresh spurt in Hyderabad with as many as 37 cases reported in just the first week of October. Hospitals are gearing up to combat the spread of the infection and isolation wards are being prepared.
A senior official from the state health department has stated, “We are seeing 20-25 suspected cases of H1N1 virus per day. This is just the beginning of the swine flu season and the numbers are expected to go up further. ….”
(Source - https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/swine-flu-back-to-haunt-20-cases-reported-in-two-weeks-statewide/articleshow/65959255.cms)
“In view of the transmission season and increasing trend of H1N1 cases in the state, there is every need to maintain strict vigil and close monitoring to contain the spread of the disease in the state”, as stated in the memo of the Health Department.
(Source - https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/37-new-swine-flu-cases-in-week-hospitals-to-prepare-isolation-wards/articleshow/66128076.cms)
Let’s get to know more details on swine flu and how to prevent it.
What is Swine Flu?
Swine flu in simple terms is influenza among pigs that usually occurs in late fall and winter months. Since the virus is not characteristic to humans, they have no inbuilt immunity against it. The flu virus is called H1N1 virus and when contracted in humans, it can get hazardous.
What are the symptoms of Swine Flu?
The symptoms of swine flu are similar to other types of flu symptoms like –
Though the symptoms of swine flu are similar to that of seasonal flu, it can take the form of serious health conditions like pneumonia, lung infection, severe vomiting or abdominal pain.
How is Swine Flu Transmitted?
Swine Flu is an air-borne disease and gets transmitted through a person’s sneeze or a cough. If you are in close proximity or shake hand with the infected person, you might contract swine flu too. Swine Flu is contagious.
Is there a swine flu vaccine?
The vaccine for swine flu is available as a shot or nasal spray and should only be administered under a medical supervision.
How can the infection be prevented?
Swine Flu infection can be prevented a few precautions –
- Don’t go in close contact with any infected person.
- Keep washing your hands at regular intervals with soap and warm water.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Don’t keep touching your mouth, nose or eyes.
- Take a bath thoroughly
- Stay at home when you are ill.
- Cover your mouth with a hanky when you are coughing or sneezing
- Avoid going out to public places or any public transportation.
Who are at risk?
Swine Flu has many associated life-threatening problems and those who are at threat of the disease are –
- Children below 5 years of age.
- Older adults above 65 years.
- Pregnant Women.
- Those affected with chronic heart, lungs, liver, blood, nervous system, neuromuscular, or metabolic problems.
- Those with a weakened immune system or having medications to treat HIV or suppress their immune system.
What are the possible treatments for swine flu?
Swine Flu can be completely treated when tested and diagnosed at an early stage. Anti-viral drugs are given to kill the virus I your system and common OTC medications can treat the pain and cold.
Antibiotics don’t work in such a situation as it is a viral infection, not a bacterial one.
Swine flu Diet
It’s that time of the year mercury goes done and the seasonal disease go up. It’s important to protect ourselves and kids from dreadful disease’s like swine flu. Few cases have been diagnosed already in Hyderabad and the number is expected to go up. People with weak immune system can easily fall pray of this nasty H1N1 bug, so it’s very important to build a strong immune system with a balanced diet. Getting sick is never fun, but this experience certainly hasn’t been any picnic, which is making you wonder how your recovery is going to go. You just need to have a little patience to handle such situations.
Here is a sample diet plan that shield’s you from virus
On waking: 10 Almonds + 1 glass of water with soaked ginger overnight
After 30 mins: 1 cup green tea / ginger tea
Breakfast: Seasonal Fruit + Idly (3-4) / Dosa (2-3)/ Upma (1 cup) + Sambar (1 cup) + chutney Or Seasonal Fruit + Whole wheat bread (3 slices) + 2 eggs A fruit along with your regular Breakfast is must. Preferably orange or sweet lime or watermelon
Mid-Morning: 1 Glass lemon water or 1 bowl of dal soup with grated ginger and pepper powder
Lunch: A cup of salad with ginger and lemon + 1 cup rice + 1 cup of cooked vegetables + 1 cup of Dal/ Rajmah/ Chenna + 1 cup of low-fat curd or buttermilk 1 glass with grated ginger, carrot and cucumber
Mid Afternoon: 10 Almonds + 1 bowl of carrot soup with ginger Evening Snacks: 1 cup of sprouts sprinkled with little pepper powder + Green tea / ginger tea Or 1 cup of cut fruits + green tea / ginger tea
Dinner: A Seasonal fruit + 2 Phulkas + 1 cup veg curry + 1 cup Dal + 1 cup curd or a glass of buttermilk. Some Important Tips 1)
1) Hydration: Hydration is most important for everyone. Even if you don’t feel like eating, make sure you sip on water, juices and soups to stay hydrated.
2) Small frequent meals are very important to keep your energy levels.
3) Include good amounts of whole fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. These foods are rich in phytochemicals and other plant compounds that can boost your health, gearing your body up for a strong against illness.
4) Liquids rich in vitamins and minerals are crucial to drink when you have the flu, where as too much sugar can cause diarrhoea when you are sick. So, try reducing sugar intake.
5) Also avoid foods that reduce functioning of your immunity such as processed foods and sugars.
6) Foods rich in probiotics help strengthen gut immunity, so include good amounts of curd, buttermilk or yogurt
7) Warm salt water gargle frequently.
8) Having a proper sleep is also equally important to have a good functioning immune system along with a balanced diet.
Stay Safe! Visit a doctor immediately whenever you notice any abnormal symptoms related to cold and flu. Be aware and take precautions to prevent the spread to Swine Flu.