To safeguard yourself and your family from this deadly virus you need to know all the facts. So read on

What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of swine flu are very much similar to that of common flu which includes cold, loss of appetite, fever above 100.4°F and tiredness. Swine flu patients have also complained of sore throat, nausea and diarrhea.

So is it common flu or swine flu?
The symptoms are all the same the only difference lies in the intensity of symptoms. The symptoms of swine flu will last for two to three weeks. The fever and muscle ache comes and goes constantly. In the early phase of the swine flu one tends to feel extremely exhausted.

What is my next action after symptoms are confirmed?
If you are suffering from the above stated symptoms you must contact a reputed doctor or government hospital and get yourself lab tested for swine flu.

Am I at risk?
Swine flu is highly contagious and anyone could be at risk. National Health Service, UK has established that some people are more susceptible than the others, they include: people suffering from chronic heart, kidney or liver diseases, long term lung disease such as asthma, diabetics, people with weak immune system, people suffering from neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis, pregnant women, small children and elderly people.

How does it spread?
The swine flu virus spreads quickly through tiny droplets that are expelled from the mouth and nose when the infected person sneezes or even coughs. If you are close enough to an infected person when he sneezes you may breathe in the virus and catch the infection yourself.
Also, if an infected person coughs in his hand and then touches a surface, the virus may be transferred from the person to that surface. Anyone who touches an infected surface (tap, doorknob, railing, telephone) may catch the infection himself.

Prevention is the best cure, but can it be prevented?
Influenza antiviral drugs are given to those who have been in close contact with people infected with swine flu or show symptoms of the flu. These drugs are about seventy to ninety percent effective.

What are day today preventive measures?

  • Wash you hands often
  • Cover you mouth and nose with a tissue while sneezing. Dispose off these tissues carefully.
  • Use a face mask while traveling in public places.
  • Clean hard surfaces with disinfectants as often as possible.
  • Avoid going to public places like malls or cinema houses.
  • Stay at home for one day after the fever has subsided to make sure it is not swine flu, seek medical help if the symptoms persist.

Are there any dietary recommendations to fight against swine flu?
The foods that help build immunity and strength should be included in the diet. Proteins are significant as they help build strength, you must include high protein foods in your diet such as poultry, fish, milk products, nuts, legumes and lean meat. The immune system is strengthened by minerals such as zinc and selenium, they are found in meat, beans, poultry and nuts.

What are additional precautions to be adopted at schools or public places?

  • Stay away from people who are sick.
  • Wash your hands with soap very often.
  • Avoid touching your eyes and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • People who are suffering with flu like infection should stay at home and take medical help as soon as possible. Avoid traveling.