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H1 N1 Infuenza (Swine Flu) - How it can be detected and treated?

Dr. Nikhil Modi 91% (203 ratings)
MD, MBBS
Pulmonologist, Delhi  •  11 years experience
H1 N1 Infuenza (Swine Flu) - How it can be detected and treated?

Are you experiencing symptoms of flu, such as a cough, sore throat, fever, body aches and headaches? Are you feeling sick around your stomach and throwing up more than usual? This indicates you have H1N1 flu or swine flu. Swine flu is a form of influenza that affects pigs, or a form of human influenza that is caused by a related virus.

Diagnosis
It is difficult to tell whether you have got swine flu or seasonal flu, as the associated symptoms are similar. There are a few different symptoms. A laboratory test is hence required for the detection of swine flu. Sometimes, a rapid flu test taken in a doctor’s chamber is not enough for the proper diagnosis of swine flu.

For swine flu testing, a swab is taken by a doctor from the insides of your nose and the back of your throat. This test is usually taken by people who are living in hospitals or are at a high risk of death because of life threatening conditions, because of swine flu. Children below the age of 6, people above the age of 65, and children taking aspirin therapy are more likely to develop swine flu. Adults or children suffering from lung, blood, liver and nervous system disorders are also prone to swine flu. Pregnant women and people with a weak immune system are also susceptible to swine flu.

Treatment
Several antiviral drugs, which are used to treat seasonal flu, are used to treat swine flu as well. However, some drugs prescribed for seasonal flu do not respond to swine flu. Using these medicines enables faster treatment and also makes the patient feel better. You must take the medicines within 48 hours of observing the first swine flu symptom. They are also effective when given at a later stage. Antibiotics do not treat swine flu as the flu itself is caused by a virus and not by a bacterium.

Certain over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers and medicines for cold and flu may also help in relieving aches, fever and pain. Abstain from giving aspirin to patients below the age of eighteen as it could lead to Reye’s syndrome. You can prevent yourself from getting swine flu by taking a vaccine. The same flu vaccine, which prevents seasonal flu, also protects the H1N1 swine flu strain. This can be taken in the form of a shot or a nasal spray. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.

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