Swine flu, a nSwine Fluew strain of influenza A, has been found in over a hundred regions. Reading the flu epidemic update everyday on the internet does make everyone around the world get worried about their own health and that of their loved ones, especially during a flu season. In order to stay safe and healthy, many are taking flu prevention measures. Some are getting flu vaccination to protect their health. Other are seeking natural remedies like herbal solutions. To help you understand more about the 2009 flu epidemic, we are going to talk about the causes, symptoms, prevention methods and treatment of the influenza.

Flu Causes

Like Avian Flu (commonly known as bird flu), which was a common threat to the whole world back in 2003, swine-origin H1N1 is also an influenza virus first found in animals and then mutated to a strain that is transmittable among human beings. The flu can be transmitted by an infected person even within the incubation period. People get the contagious disease by inhaling respiratory droplets from an infected individual or touching their nose or mouth after coming in contact with contaminated surfaces.

Flu Symptoms

A woman is blowing her nose

Symptoms of swine influenza are very much similar to seasonal influenza. Fever, headache, fatigue, chills, muscle or joint pain, runny nose, sore throat and cough are signs of both illnesses. A fever and cough are the key swine flu symptoms. Other specific symptoms for pandemic HlN1 include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Since it is not easy for us to distinguish the swine flu from a seasonal flu, people are well advised to wear masks and visit a doctor's office as soon as possible to obtain proper treatment or medication once flu symptoms occur.

Flu Prevention

To avoid getting the contagious disease in the flu season, we should wear masks in public places like shopping malls, airports and schools. As the flu virus can stay alive on surfaces of furniture for up to two hours or even longer. It is important to keep your hands clean by washing or wiping them with wet tissue frequently. After you have been to public places or before having meals, you should have you hands washed or disinfested by hand disinfected rub to lower the chances of catching the disease. We should also cover our mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing as a mean of flu prevention. For pregnant women, children, newborns and front-line healthcare workers, they should consider injecting swine flu vaccination once it is available.

Flu TreatmDrugsent

According to the clinic study done in Mexico, the mortality rate for the swine flu epidemic is approximately 7% while many deaths are linked to viral pneumonia. Tamiflu and Relenza, are effective treatment of the infectious disease, which can help to relieve the symptoms and shorten the length of the illness. The medicines have to be prescribed by a doctor at an early stage of the infection to ensure the effectiveness of the antivirals. Therefore, it is important to consult a doctor when a flu symptom emerges. However, according to WHO, many who have contracted the disease recover fully without the use of drugs within one week.

There is no evidence that eating pork products can lead to infection. Like other bacteria, the swine flu virus can be killed by temperature over 70 °C (158 °F). Therefore, pork should be thoroughly cooked before consumption. For those who are in need, once the swine flu vaccination is launched, they should have the flu prevention measure taken right away. We should guard ourselves against the flu by having enough sleep and exercising regularly, especially in the flu season.

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