Swine flu or swine influenza is an infection caused by some of several types of swine influenza virus. It is a respiratory infection, known as H1N1 flu. Swine influenza is a disease that pigs get. Currently it is spreading among people because it has mutated and now it is able to infect humans and spread among them.
Pregnant women, children under the age of two, and people with chronic medical problems are main risk groups. Children are at the highest risk of mortality if affected with swine flu, and people should be aware of the fact that the symptoms of swine flu in adults and in children are different.
There are several complications which may occur, and some of them are pneumonia, worsening of chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and asthma, as well as respiratory failure.
Some of the early symptoms of swine flu in children may be fever, sore throat, body aches, stuffy nose, chills, fatigue and cough. Nausea, persistent and severe vomiting and diarrhea may also occur as symptoms of swine influenza. But without any doubt, breathing problems, loss of appetite and failure to interact with others are serious signs which indicate that medical attention should be looked for immediately, especially if the skin tone turns bluish or gray, indicating in that way an extreme lack of oxygen.
Babies who are taking artificial human milk are more likely to contract the flu than the babies who are breastfed. In addition to this, women who are suffering from this disease are advised not to handle their babies or care for them. Mothers are advised to keep their hands perfectly clean, and also they should avoid sneezing or coughing near their baby.
What we need to know is that swine influenza probably spreads by direct contact with respiratory secretions of someone who is already sick with swine flu. It may happen if they are coughing or sneezing close to the baby. According to The Health Protection Agency, the new swine flu virus is highly contagious and it is spreading as ordinary cold or flu. The incubation period can be up to 7 days. And after developing symptoms, people are the most infectious. In treating the swine flu, antiviral drugs can make the illness milder by relieving some symptoms, reducing the length of time the patient is ill and reducing the potential complications. However, there are antiviral medications such as Tamiflu or Relenza. These medications must be taken at the beginning of the illness to be effective. We should be aware that swine flu is deadly virus, but if it is treated properly, we can save our lives.