Usually confined to pigs, swine flu (also referred to as swine influenza or swine fever) is often in the news, since it seems to infect humans as well. This virus is quite common among pigs. Sty owners regularly vaccinate their animals to protect them, but obviously, vaccinations aren't foolproof. Lately, this virus has been affecting human beings and has been spreading among populations across countries.
So, how do you know if you have swine flu? You need to get information to learn how to identify and treat it.
- Firstly, there are no specific or unique symptoms to the swine flu.
- The initial symptoms could be the same as any other seasonal influenza--viral fever leading up to pneumonia. Some of the swine flu indications include fever, fatigue, nausea, running nose, irritated nose, infection of the upper respiratory tract, body ache and severe reduction in appetite, vomiting, diarrhea and sometimes dry cough.
If you find that you are suffering from a combination of the above-mentioned symptoms, it is best to consult a physician, take precautionary measures, and commence medication.
- In general, to the extent possible, avoid international travel during this time, and until the World Health Organization's health warnings are removed. If you have returned from an international trip and seem to have these symptoms, then it is best to mention this to your physician and to stay away as much as possible from human contact.
Make a note that mere occurrence of some of these symptoms is no reason to panic. As I said, the swine flu symptoms are very similar to seasonal flu or fever. However, caution is certainly advised, and medical attention should be sought.
- Currently, swine flu cases have been reported from parts of the United States, Mexico, South America, Europe, Africa, China, Japan and some other parts of Eastern Asia. If you are in any of these territories or have recently visited them, or if you know of anyone suffering from these symptoms, and if they have visited these regions recently, then it is possible that you have swine flu.
It must be noted that the virus is not contracted by eating pork. The virus is killed by cooking meat at 160 degrees Fahrenheit or 70 degrees centigrade. Swine fever normally spreads among people from the infected pigs; there are also some reports of the virus spreading through human-to-human contact among closed groups of people.
There are swine flu prevention methods. Ironically, but true, those people that are in regular contact with pigs have higher immunity to the flu and sometimes escape infection.
These are some general guidelines to identify if you have swine flu. Medical consultation is highly recommended in cases of the above symptoms.