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H1N1

Two employees of software organization in Bengaluru have tested positive for H1N1 swine flu.

What is H1N1?

1. H1N1 Flu is also known as Swine Flu as it has originated from pigs.

2. It is a highly contagious respiratory infection and spreads from human to human.

3. It is a type of Influenza A virus infection and has mix of genes from swine, bird and human flu viruses.

4. It was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) following the 2009 outbreak in Mexico.

When can it be detected? 

1. It can be detected from some common symptoms such as

a) High Fever

b) Headaches

c) Muscle Pain

d) Sore throat, blocked nose, chills, malaise and fatigue

2. It can also be detected from the neurological symptoms in children that can be severe and fatal.

3. Neurological symptoms include seizures, change in mental status and sudden cognitive or behavioral changes.

Who are at high risk?

1. Pregnant women and young children especially those under 2 years of age.

2. People with asthma, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or other chronic lung conditions.

3. People with cardiovascular conditions (except high blood pressure).

4. People with liver and kidney problems, blood disorders, neurological and neuromuscular disorder, metabolic disorders including diabetics.

5. People with compromised immune system or chronic, long term health conditions are more prone to this infection.

6. People with blood disorders, neurologic disorders, neuromuscular disorders, metabolic disorders including diabetes.

7. People with immune suppression including HIV infection and medications that suppress the immune system.

8. Elderly people.

How similar is Swine flu to other diseases?

Seasonal Flu

1. Symptoms of swine flu are similar to regular seasonal flu, making it detectable only through tests.

2. H1N1 also spreads from person to person in much the same way as seasonal flu.

3. They spread by droplets from coughs and sneezes of infected people.

4. It also infects a person coming in contact with surfaces contaminated by the virus.

5. But seasonal flu vaccines are ineffective against swine flu.

Coronavirus

1. Both Corona and Swine Flu are respiratory diseases.

2. Initial symptoms of Covid 19 and swine flu are very similar.

3. But Swine flu is declared as pandemic (global spread of diseases) by WHO, Covid 19 is an epidemic (spread widely in only a region).

Which are the other fatal viruses?

Marburg virus

1. It is a hemorrhagic fever virus.

2. It causes convulsions, bleeding of mucous membranes skin and organs.

2. It has a fatality rate of 90%.

Kyasanur Forest Virus

1. It was discovered in the southwestern coast of India in 1955.

2. It is difficult to determine any carriers of the virus.

3. People infected with this virus suffer from high fever, strong headaches and muscle pain that can cause bleedings.

Ebola Virus

1. There are five strains of the Ebola virus each named after countries and regions in Africa- Zaire, Sudan, Tai forest, Bundibugyo and Reston.

2. Zaire Ebola virus is the deadliest with a mortality rate of 90%.

Bird Flu

1. Bird flu has a mortality rate of 70%.

2. The H5N1 strain of this virus is contracted through direct contact with poultry and mostly infects those who work at the poultry farms or live in the vicinity.

Hantavirus

1. The hantavirus is also one of the deadliest viruses across the world.

2. Symptoms include lung disease fever and kidney failure.

Lassa virus

1. This is transmitted by rodents.

2. The virus occurs in a specific region like western Africa and can reoccur in that region at any time.

Junin virus

1. The Argentine Junin virus is associated with hemorrhagic fever.

2. Infected people suffer from tissue inflammation, sepsis and skin bleeding.

3. The disease is rarely detected in the initial days as the symptoms appear to be common.

Machupo virus

1. It causes Bolivian hemorrhagic fever also known as black typhus.

2. It causes high fever often accompanied by heavy bleedings.

3. The virus is carried by the rodents and it spreads from human to human.

Crimean-Congo virus

1. The Crimean-Congo virus is a type of viral hemorrhagic fever transmitted by ticks.

2. Its symptoms include fever, muscle pains, headache, vomiting, diarrhea and bleeding into the skin.

Dengue

1. The virus is transmitted by mosquitoes and affects people mostly occurring in tropical areas.

2. India faces the epidemic year after year.

Why is supportive treatment needed?

1. All these diseases don't have a specific treatment and can turn serious resulting in death.

2. There is also no specific vaccination requiring supportive treatment.

3. Hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene can help to prevent from contracting infection.