H1N1 is the scariest flu in the environment. It is also called as Swine Flu, Pig influenza, pig flu. It is called swine flu because it was seen in people who were in direct contact with pigs but later a new virus emerged which was spread among people who hadn’t been close to pigs. Swine flu is one of the virus that is included in the vaccine chart. Swine flu is very contagious and is spread through saliva and mucus particles. It spreads in the same way as seasonal flu. When people who have it cough or sneeze, they spray tiny drops of the virus into the air. If you come in contact with these drops or touch a surface (such as a doorknob or sink) that an infected person has recently touched, you can catch H1N1 swine flu.
Image courtesy: gctohana
In 2009, H1N1 was spreading fast around the world, so it was called pandemic by WHO ( World Health Organisation). There is reduction in number of people getting infected due to the vaccines readily available and also the awareness in society. It is very important to understand that the virus can be stopped only if the infected person takes optimum care and regular medicines and minimize himself in coming in contact with other healthy individuals. The best way would be to wear a mask. I don’t think that a person should bother what others will think if wears a mask. Mask is for his safety also. But it is also very important to see to it that the mask is not reused. He can reduce chance of getting more infected and also reduce the risk of spreading it in surrounding. Even if the infected person is masked he has to take the following precautions:
- Wash hands often.
- Cover mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- If you’ve got flu-like symptoms, avoid others until you’ve been free of fever for 24 hours.
- Stay at least 6 feet away from people with flu-like illness.
- Do not encourage guests to come and see you as they might carry virus with them.
- Avoid sharing food, tea, coffee and drinks with infected person.
Swine flu has symptoms similar to the regular seasonal flu.
- Sore throat
- Stuffy nose
This flu can lead to more complicated conditions like Pneumonia, respiratory problems. It can also increase the risk in diabetics and asthmatic patients. If you have symptoms like severe vomiting, shortness of breath, dizziness, abdominal pain, call your doctor immediately. Doctor will prescribe medicines which is usually 7 days to 10days curse. It is advised to complete the course so that infection is cured from Within. Now with medicines there is also an important role of diet. First most thing which has to be a big NO is to avoid outside, roadside, junked food completely. Do not allow yourself to binge on food which you feel is less hygienic or is of cheaper quality. Do not risk your health. Eat warm home made food. Drink only boiled water.
I came across a patient, Mrs. Madhu Naik ( Name changed) she was very weak and under weight. She was infected by this deadly virus. But with a good nutritional approach we were able to get her infection cured considerably fast and also her immunity improved. With good diet regime, required precautions, less contact with healthy person helped us prevent it from spreading to the other family members.
Low immunity is an additional cause of any kind of infection. A complete balanced nutrition will help you survive or reduce the risk of getting infected. Boost your immunity by adding fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet. Anti-oxidants in fresh fruits and vegetables will give u power to fight the flu. Following are the few tips which will help you to keep your immunity optimum:
1. Vitamin C rich foods. Amla is the best source of vitamin C. Regularly eating amla will boost Vitamin C levels in your system and will help prevent even the deadliest of infections.
2. Add lots of fluids throughout the day. Hydration is important here, an absolutely critical part of swine flu treatment, particularly because this flu causes dehydrating symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea in some patients. Even if you don’t feel like eating, make sure you sip on water, juices and other liquids.
3. People who are health compromised, they should also include protein rich food in the diet. E.g meat, chicken, fish, beans, soy based foods. Have minimum of 3 servings per day to build a barrier against infection.
4. Fresh fruits and vegetable juices will also help you fight against infection. Juices like Fresh carrot, amla, spinach. Vitamin A in oranges and green colour fruits and vegetables will help to strengthen the respiratory membranes.
Choose antioxidant rich foods and foods with antiviral properties to give your immune system a boost:
- darkly colored berries
- all cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, etc.)
- citrus fruits
- leafy green vegetables
- nuts and seeds, especially Brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds
- onions and mushrooms
- cloves and raw garlic is a source of allicin, fights against swine flu infection.
Other excellent foods and herbs:
- Lemon Balm
- Aloe Vera
- Green Tea
- Tulsi/ Basil
5. Eat small frequent meals. As the infected will not have good appetite. Do not force them to eat huge meals at a time. Instead give them small meals at regular intervals.
Infants, toddlers, pregnant women, old age people are more prone to this infection. So please be aware and take the above mentioned precautions.
We hope the above article must have helped you in curing swine flu. You may also Want to know about Dengue Fever: Symptoms & Diagnosis ?
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RD Neha Kava
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