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Over the past couple of weeks, news has been spreading among mothers that the viral influenza disease H1N1 -also known as Swine flu- has resurfaced in Egypt. While there are no official statements yet, there are several cases that have picked up the virus. So, just in case it is actually true, as part of our How to spot series, we’ll be walking you through everything you need to know, from how to spot Swine flu, to how you can prevent it.
Symptoms of Swine Flu (H1N1):
- Sore throat
- Body aches (especially in back and stomach)
- Trembling and shivering
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Watery and red eyes
- Nausea and vomiting
What to do if you have all or some of the above symptoms?
With Swine flu, you do not have to experience all the above symptoms, but in most cases it starts with normal flu symptoms and can be very difficult to distinguish between them. In most cases, it is not necessary to get tested as the treatment plan for all types of flu are pretty much the same including H1N1. However, you need to run a test for:
- Children under 5 years
- Adults over 65 years old
- Children and teens using aspirin therapy
- Pregnant women
- Anyone facing chronic lung, heart, liver, blood, nervous system, neuromuscular, or metabolic diseases
- Anyone with an autoimmune disease or a weakened immune system
Treatment of Swine flu (H1N1):
Just like any other flu, there isn’t a specific treatment that you need except for a lot of rest to relieve yourself from the symptoms. There are also two antiviral medication that are recommended to help speed your recovery and get rid of the H1N1 to avoid spreading it to other people:
- Oseltamivir (Tamiflu)
- Zanamivir (Relenza)
- Peramivir (Rapivab)
- Baloxavir (Xofluza)
But if you’re generally healthy, in most cases you can fight the infection on your own without needing the medication. You can also use pain relievers such as ibuprofin (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) to help reduce the pain of the body aches.
Homemade natural remedies:
- Drink lots of fluids. Water, juice, and soups are good options to help prevent dehydration.
- Rest. You need to give your body the rest it needs to be able to fight the infection by getting sufficient sleep.
How to prevent Swine flu (H1N1):
If you develop any type of flu, these measures may help ease your symptoms:
- Take the Swine flu vaccination. It is usually included in the standard seasonal flu shot.
- Do not have contact with anyone who is sick as it is highly contagious
- Avoid leaving the house if you have the Swine flu yourself.
- Wash your hands with soap and water regularly throughout the day.
- Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth. If you do, wash your hands thoroughly.