April 22, 2019
Health

What you need to know to keep yourself protected from the H1N1 virus (swine flu)

New Delhi, 19th Jan 2019: Many people in the Delhi/ NCR region have already become victims of the seasonal influenza (H1N1) virus, commonly known as Swine Flu. One of the most prevalent and contagious viruses, H1N1 has three categories – A, B and C. While A and B categories need home care, category C requires immediate hospitalization and medical intervention as its symtpoms and outcomes are extremely severe and could result in death.

Dr. D S Chaddha, Director, Internal Medicine, Fortis Flt. Lt. Rajan Dhall Hospital gives us an insight into protection and prevention against the H1N1 virus

Symptoms of Swine Flu (H1N1)

  • The Clinical Manifestations: fever, cough, sore throat, malaise and headache, vomiting and diarrhea
  • In Children: young children are less likely to have the usual influenza signs and symptoms such as fever and cough
  • In Infants may present with fever and lethargy, and may not have cough or other respiratory symptoms
  • Symptoms of severe disease in infants and young children may include apnea, tachypnea, dyspnea, cyanosis, dehydration, altered mental status and extreme irritability

High risk groups:

  • Children younger than five years old
  • Adults who are 65 years and above
  • Patients who have a chronic pulmonary condition (including asthma)
  • Patients who have a cardiovascular (except hypertension), renal, hepatic, hematological (including sickle cell disease), neurologic, neuromuscular or metabolic disorder (including diabetes mellitus)
  • Patients who are on immune suppressants
  • Patients of HIV
  • Pregnant women
  • Obese Adults
  • Residents of nursing homes and other chronic – care facilities

Home care treatment for Influenza A and B (H1N1)

  • Check with the health care provider about any special care that might be needed if the patient is pregnant or has a health condition such as diabetes, heart disease, asthma or emphysema
  • Check with the health care provider about whether the patient should take antiviral medications
  • Keep the patient away from other people as much as possible. They should not be going to school or work
  • One should watch out for the primary influenza symptoms: high temperature, runny nose, cough, headache, muscle and joint pain
  • The patient should stay at home for at least 24 hours after the fever subsides
  • To prevent dehydration the patient should rest and drink plenty of fluids such as water, broth, sports drinks, electrolyte beverages
  • Coughs and sneezes should be covered. Hands should be cleaned using soap and water or an alcohol based hand rub
  • A face mask should be worn at all times to prevent the virus from spreading to near and dear ones

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