There's been a lot of hype and news making the rounds lately about H1N1 virus aka "Swine Flu". It was first discovered in Mexico in early June and since then it has spread rapidly around the world and so far over 700 people have died from this flu. It is no more a western problem because it has gotten to Africa. The department of Health in South Africa has meanwhile confirmed that there are over 100 cases of swine flu in South Africa since its outbreak on 12 June. It was recently declared a level 6 pandemic by the World Health Organisation.
Have you ever bothered to know what it is all about? Do you know what to look out for in terms of signs and symptoms? Knowledge is power and it goes a long way to know what it is one is up against.
What is Swine Flu:
Swine flu is an infection caused by a virus. It's named for a virus that pigs can get. People do not normally get swine flu, but human infections can and do happen. The virus is contagious and can spread from human to human.
These are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and include
- Sore throat
- Body aches
- Chills and fatigue.
- Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Washing your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. You can also use alcohol-based hand cleaners.
- Avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Trying to avoid close contact with sick people.
- Staying home from work or school if you are sick.