by Dr. Enozia Vakil on  February 14, 2013 at 12:37 PM Health In Focus
Watch Out For Swine Flu
Winter always brings along the chills and the flu, make sure you're safe this season. Read on to know the basics of 'swine flu' and how you can protect yourself from this threat.

Also known as H1N1 flu, swine flu is a widespread disease affecting people around the globe. Often difficult to distinguish from seasonal influenza, this flu may spread easily through contact with infected people. Some of the cases are due to a virus that contains a mix of genes from the swine, bird and human flu viruses.

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Modes of transmission: People having extensive exposure to pigs and poultry are much more at the risk of catching swine flu. Swine flu commonly spreads through the air when the affected person coughs or sneezes. Therefore, close contact with infected people should be avoided as far as possible.

Common symptoms: Symptoms of swine flu are similar to that of a normal flu like runny nose, cough, fever, nausea, dizziness and weakness. People affected with swine flu have also reported diarrhea and other stomach problems.

Left untreated, this flu can develop serious health complications like pneumonia, electrolyte imbalance, kidney failure and respiratory failure, and sometimes even death.

Preventive measures: Some preventive measures that help keep oneself free from swine flu are listed below:

Keep distance from people who show influenza-like symptoms, particularly sneezing and coughing.

Wash your hands, feet and face once you return home and before having your meals.

Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose as much as possible.

Reduce the amount of time you spend in crowded areas. If there's an epidemic of swine flu going on, wear a face mask.

Practice good habits like adequate sleep, eat healthy and nutritious foods and stay physically active.

Keep your windows wide open to promote circulation of fresh air at all times.

Source: Medindia

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