The latest flu outbreak, swine flu (H1N1 virus), is a respiratory disease, which is caused by influenza type A virus. Many cases of swine flu originated from Mexico, where several people have been fatally affected by the virus. There are confirmed human cases of swine flu in other countries such as the US, Canada, Spain, UK, Germany, Israel, France, Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Hong Kong, South Korea, Italy, Irish Republic, Costa Rica, and Colombia. Due to the fast spreading nature of this new strain of the influenza virus, the World Health Organisation has announced a level 5 warning on the pandemic scale, implying that the virus is dangerous and can be spread from human to human.
Swine flu causes
Swine flu can spread from one person to another through coughing or sneezing. The tiny droplets that are spread in the air by an infected person can easily infect another person who is sitting in the close vicinity. So, using a mask or tissue covering your mouth and nose can be a good preventive measure to guard against this infection, though it’s not a full proof solution.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says that some of the cases of human infection due to H1N1 strain of Influenza type A are never seen before cases. Most of the health experts conclude that this new strain of swine flu virus is different from other strains of H1N1, which cause seasonal outbreaks of flu in humans. The new virus contains genetic material in its strains and can affect humans, birds, and swine (pigs).
Medical experts believe that flu viruses have the ability to swap genetic components with each other. In the case of this new version of H1N1 virus, it resulted from the mixing of different versions of the virus that can affect different species.
Swine flu vaccine
The main symptoms of swine flu infection can be similar to symptoms of seasonal flu like sore throat, cough, fever, chills, body aches, fatigue and the like.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is of the view that swine flu can cause a serious situation worldwide and even warns of a possible global pandemic like situation due to this flu. At present, there is no vaccine that can help control this flu. However, most of the affected people and others have been relying on treatment with two anti-viral drugs that include Tamiflu and Relenza.
Tamiflu is a prescription medicine, in which the main ingredient is oseltamivir phosphate. It works both for the treatment and prevention of flu infection. For flu treatment, tamiflu should be taken within 48 hours after the flu symptoms are visible. This anti-viral drug can help to stop the further spread of flu virus in the body.
For flu prevention measures, you can take Tamiflu as directed by the doctor, as it prevents you from becoming sick due. Tamiflu is a prescription-only oral drug, so you can buy it from a local pharmacy when you show a valid prescription of a doctor. You can also buy Tamiflu online from any reliable online source, after doing a proper online consultation, which checks your suitability for the drug.
Another treatment drug for swine flu, Relenza, is also a prescription-only drug. The main ingredient in this drug is Zanamivir, which belongs to a group of neuraminidase inhibitors. Relenza is available in a powdered form to be inhaled by an infected person. This drug helps to reduce the symptoms of the swine flu virus.
The swine flu virus has already started to spread throughout the world. If we don’t take preventive measures, then it may take the shape of a global pandemic. The various governments including that of the UK have started stockpiling anti-viral drugs like Tamiflu, as a precautionary measure against a swine flu pandemic. Apart from these anti-viral drugs, we should also take care of our personal hygiene.