What is Swine Flu?

Past couple of days have seen an increasing panic in Delhi, capital city of India, regarding Swine Flu. While some concerns are justified, awareness of the illness is more important than going into a panic mode. At the same time, casual attitude towards basic Flu symptoms and self medication is definitely not recommended in this environment.

What is Swine Flu?
Well, to cut a long story short, it is like any other Flu (common cold) that you get. The big difference is that since the virus has originated from bird and animals, we as human beings do not have any immunity to fight against it. The best part of any viral Flu is that it is self limiting i.e. it runs its course for 7 days and goes off on its own (like our normal cold).

What are the symptoms of Swine Flu?
Again the symptoms are very similar to any other Flu

  1. Fever
  2. Running nose
  3. Sore throat
  4. Body ache / Head ache
  5. Sometimes, Diarrhoea or Vomiting

What should you be doing in doubt of Swine Flu?

  1. First, it is important to note that since the symptoms are not very distinct from a normal Flu (common cold), you should take your illness a bit more seriously.
  2. If you get even a mild case of  fever with cough and cold – do not go to any public places (including office, school etc). Restrict yourself to your home. This will help prevent spread of the virus.
  3. Go to the doctor for treatment – Do not self medicate yourself by taking some pain killers or cold medicines.
  4. If your symptoms are persistent or worsen, go to a Government Hospital to get yourself checked. This is especially true if you run a very high fever, your sore throat becomes worse or you have severe body ache.
  5. Everyone should use extra hygienic care in terms of using proper soaps and using clean towels etc.

Is Swine Flu deadly?
Not really. As in any other cases of Flu, it is not deadly. The difference is that it can create complications especially in your respiratory tract (lungs), which can lead to severe problems if not treated early.

What is being said in the media about Swine Flu??
Please remember that one case of death we have had is an aberration and not a rule. But at the same time, we need to participate in being aware, and ensuring that we are not responsible for spreading the virus. Media will tend to report all possible news but we should use our own judgment for acting on such news.  I hope by giving you the above information, we have been able to bring some sense to this chaos.

PS:  The above information is just to bring awareness to you and as per my knowledge. If you need more specific information, please consult your physician.