Zee Media Bureau/Salome Phelamei
As the total number of deaths due to swine flu has now reached 1,198 and over 22,000 people have been affected with the H1N1 virus across India, here are top five facts that you need to know about the deadly disease:
- Swine flu (swine influenza) is a respiratory disease caused by viruses (influenza viruses) that infect the respiratory tract of pigs. Usually the virus is spread only among pigs, but it has now become deadly for humans. Till now, the disease has claimed 1198 lives across India in 2015.
- Swine flu is highly contagious, spread quickly from person to person through air, mucus and saliva particles. One should cover the nose and mouth while coughing or sneezing because a simple cough or sneeze can spread thousands of germs through the air.
- Symptoms of swine flu are similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu. Early symptoms include – cough, fever, headache, sore throat, muscle pain, chills, vomiting or diarrhoea. If a person develops one of these symptoms, he/she should immediately consult a doctor.
- People who are at most risk include - children below three years of age, pregnant women, adults above 60 years of age, people with certain medical conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, asthma, diabetes or those with weakened immune systems.
- Swine flu can be diagnosed only through test in a specialised laboratory by identifying the particular antigens associated with the virus type. Recently, the Delhi government has fixed the rate for tests at Rs 4500, while private labs were charging up to Rs 10,000. Oseltamivir, marketed under the trade name Tamiflu, is the recommended anti viral drug which helps treat swine flu.