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Swine Flu (H1N1) Facts

Biology | 7-14 yrs | Reading Pod, Animation

What is H1N1 Virus?

H1N1 flu virus is a human flu virus which causes respiratory illness in people. It is also known as the swine flu. In this disease, the nose, throat and lungs of a patient are affected. This disease is highly contagious and can spread quickly to many people all over the world in just a short span of time.

Why is it known as Swine Flu?

Swine influenza virus was first isolated by American scientists in the year 1930 from pigs kept in poultry farms. In 2009, a large scale outbreak of this disease took place due to infection caused by a special strain of swine flu virus called the ‘H1N1’ virus and it was first observed in the city of Mexico.

What are the symptoms of H1N1 flu and how is it diagnosed?

The symptoms include heavy nasal secretions, a barking cough, congestion in chest, decreased appetite, and extreme fatigue. To diagnose H1N1 flu, a respiratory specimen is taken from the patient within the first 4 to 5 days of the onset of the symptoms. Antiviral drugs fight the disease by preventing the flu viruses from reproducing inside the body.

How can you protect yourself from getting H1N1?

  • You can protect yourself from getting H1N1 by getting the vaccination done. You must stay away from the people who are sick and have symptoms of flu. Remember to wash your hands and face with soap every time you come from outside.
  • If used correctly, masks are highly effective in preventing the spread of viral infections. Unlike regular facemasks, respirators are effective at preventing the infections.

4 Facts about Swine Flu (H1N1)

  1. The symptoms of swine flu in the pigs are the same as those seen in humans.
  2. The virus of H1N1 is not transmitted by food. A person cannot get infected with H1N1 flu by eating pork.
  3. Today, we do have a vaccine called ‘2009 H1N1’ vaccine to prevent the flu. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of one dose of vaccine for persons above ten years of age. Children from 6 months to 9 years of age are advised to get two doses of the vaccine.
  4. People who are allergic to eggs may have some allergic reactions on getting the vaccination done.

Read more about the difference between Virus and Bacteria?