All About Swine Flu and Its Causes

The newest epidemic that has been haunting India (yet again) is the hazardous and absolutely treacherous H1N1 virus, commonly known as swine flu. Swine flu is essentially a respiratory disease that has its primary occurrence in pigs. However, a particular kind of influenza known as H1N1 can be seen occurring among human beings with long-lasting consequences, involving high costs of treatment.

What is the H1N1 Virus?

Technically, the term ‘swine flu’ indicates the presence of influenza virus among pigs. On multiple occasions, pigs channel this virus to human beings, the primary recipients being veterinarians and hog farmers. Additionally, on multiple occasions, someone who is affected by the H1N1 virus passes it on to his family members or friends or to people around him/her through coughs, sneezes, etc . Swine flu in today’s date is considered to be a dangerously fatal disease that is highly communicable in nature, meaning it can be easily spread from one person to another through physical contact. The symptoms of swine flu can often be misinterpreted as they are similar to the symptoms of a common cold or a viral infection. Further, if an individual who has not been infected by the virus comes in contact with the surface that has H1N1 virus on it and touches his/her nose or mouth, then the chances of the individual contracting the disease becomes high.

Causes of Swine Flu:

Typically caused by an influenza virus, swine flu is also referred to as Type A H1N1 influenza. Being the most common subtype of the virus, H1N1 typically presents its symptoms in the form of sneezing, coughing, fever, and so on. Since human beings are not immune to the virus (because of a lack of vaccine), they are more susceptible to the disease and are more likely to fall sick when they come in contact with an infected individual. Contact can be in the forms of physical as well as indirect touch since the virus spreads like any other seasonal infection.

Symptoms of Swine Flu:

Similar to any seasonal virus, the most common H1N1 (swine flu) symptoms may manifest in an individual within a period of one and three days after he/she has been infected. Some of the initial symptoms include:

  1. High fever (may come and go)
  2. Runny nose
  3. Cough
  4. Body aches
  5. Sore throat
  6. Chills
  7. Headaches
  8. Extreme tiredness or fatigue
  9. Occasional vomiting or diarrhea

Some of the more serious symptoms of swine flu in children include:

  1. Breathing issues
  2. Gray or bluish skin color
  3. Significantly less consumption of fluids
  4. Persistent diarrhea and vomiting
  5. Irritability
  6. Flu symptoms may disappear and reappear as the infection advances
  7. Rash along with a high fever

Some of the serious symptoms in adults include:

  1. Breathing issues and difficulties
  2. Extreme pain in the chest
  3. Pain or pressure-feeling in the abdomen
  4. Confusion
  5. Dizziness
  6. Severe vomiting
  7. Flu symptoms may disappear and reappear as the infection advances

Complications of Swine Flu:

Apart from weakening the immune system, swine flu also causes advanced health complications in individuals. These complications occur when the individual is already suffering from a pre-existing condition which could be diabetes, asthma, emphysema, a heart disease, or any other chronic illness. Complications can also be more severe in pregnant women, children who are less than 5 years old, senior citizens with health issues, and so on. Some of these additional complications include:

  1. Worsening of a chronic illness such as asthma or a heart disease
  2. Bronchitis
  3. Pneumonia
  4. Seizures
  5. Ear infection
  6. Respiratory failure

Importance of Health Insurance for Swine Flu Patients:

Apart from the psychological distress that an individual has to go through upon falling victim to the hazardous H1N1 virus, there is immense financial burden on the family as well. This is the reason why the purchase of a comprehensive health insurance policy is of utmost importance. At present, the market is flooded with insurers offering health covers for the treatment of swine flu. The best way to find an easy cure for this complicated disease is getting adequate coverage for yourself and your family members.

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