Swine Flu is so termed because the virus that first caused the disease had originated from pigs. Swine flu has spread to more than twenty countries across the world. Here are some facts about swine flu:
- Swine flu is an acute respiratory virus. It is a contagious disease that spreads through the medium of air.
- Swine flu also referred to as H1N1 and swine influenza is caused by the swine influenza virus. It is a known fact that swine flu influenza is common in pigs; people who work or live around pigs are normally at greater risk of swine flu.
- The genetic makeup of H1N1 Influenza virus includes genes from bird flu, North American swine flu and from humans.
- Symptoms of swine flu resemble those of the seasonal flu such as coughing, sore throat, fever, chills, extreme tiredness, muscle aches and diarrhoea.
- Swine flu first surfaced in April 2009. It affected millions of people and then in June 2009 it was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO).
- Cases of swine flu have been reported from all the habitable continents. It spreads rapidly but the mortality ratio is relatively low.
- World Health Organisation has assigned pandemic alert level 5 to swine flu. This level indicates that human to human outbreak of swine flu is high.
- An interesting fact is that many virologists and scientists are of the view that the H1N1 virus may not have evolved naturally and was created in a laboratory! The eight different genetic segments of swine flu virus don’t match with any known virus. According to the Centres for Disease Control, swine flu is an unusual combination of genes from swines, birds and the human flu virus.
- People with weak immune system are at high risk of contracting swine flu. For instance, HIV/AIDS patients, lupus victims and people who are undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments are more vulnerable.
- According to the World Health Organization, it is a fact that if a healthy person with a good immune system is infected by swine flu, he can recover within a week. Tamiflu and Relenza are some of the medications that are prescribed for fighting swine flu.
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