Swine flu toll climbs to 1731: All you need to know about the deadly disease

The deadly swine flu has returned to haunt us, deaths have been reported from across the country. The death toll in the country climbed to 1,731 on Monday as 21 more deaths were reported even as the number of persons affected by the disease inched close to 30,000-mark, surpassing the earlier levels reached during 2009.

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What is Swine Flu?

  • Swine influenza, also called pig influenza, swine flu, hog flu, pig flu or H1N1 virus, is an infection caused by any one of several types of swine influenza viruses.
  • H1NI is also known as swine flu because the virus was similar to influenza viruses that cause illness in pigs.
  • It is highly contagious, spreading quickly from person to person.
  • In 2009, H1N1, or swine flu was called a pandemic by World Health Organization (WHO) because of its massive spread across the world. [Myths and Home Remedies for Swine Flu]

    How does it spread?

    • Swine flu is contagious.
    • Influenza viruses infect the cells lining your nose, throat and lungs. It spreads in the same way as the seasonal flu.
    • The virus spreads when you touch an infected surface or breathe cough and sneeze droplets in the air.

    The Symptoms of swine flu

    • Swine flu symptoms are similar to most influenza infections. 
    • They can include - fever, cough, headache, sore throat, fatigue, body aches, diarrhoea, vomiting, difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath. 
    • Small children may refuse to take feeds.

    The related complications

      Who are at higher risk?

      • The children younger than five years of age, people 65 years and older, pregnant women and people of any age with certain medical conditions such as cancer, heart or lung disease, diabetes, and those with weakened immune system.

      How do you know it's swine flu?

      • Most of the symptoms of swine flu are same as that of seasonal flu.
      • People with swine flu may be more likely to feel nauseous and throw up than people who have seasonal flu. 
      • Only a lab test is the only way to know for sure. 

      What's the treatment for swine flu?

      • The person suffering from swine flu should take proper rest, keep warm and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. 
      • Person suffering from this can also take antiviral medicines and antibiotics.

      How can you avoid getting swine flu?

      • The best protection is to get a flu vaccine every year. 
      • Washing hands and in keeping a good hygiene are the most effective way of slowing the spread of flu.

      The rising numbers

      • Data collated by the Union health ministry said that as on March 15, 1,731 people have died while the total number of affected persons across the states stood at 29,938.
      • The death toll was highest in Gujarat where 387 people have perished to the disease while the number of affected people has reached 6,148.
      • Swine flu has killed 378 persons in Rajasthan.
      • The death toll in Maharashtra inched towards the 300-mark as 293 have died due to the disease.
      • In Madhya Pradesh, 239 people have perished and 1,909 are affected.
      • In Delhi, 11 deaths have been reported while the number of swine flu cases inched towards the 4,000-mark, as 3,998 people are affected by the disease.
      • The death toll in Telangana has increased to 72 while 51 people have died in Punjab. 
      • In Karnataka, the disease has claimed the lives of 71 people while 45 people have died in Haryana.
      • The disease has claimed the lives of 18 persons in Himanchal Pradesh, while eleven people have died in Kerala.
      • In Tamil Nadu, 13 persons have died due to the disease.
      • The death toll in West Bengal has reached 19 while the state of Uttar Pradesh has witnessed 35 deaths. 
      • In Jammu & Kashmir, the death of one more person has taken the toll to 16. 
      • In Andhra Pradesh, 20 persons have died while the disease has also claimed the lives of 16 people in Chhattisgarh.
        Dos and Don'ts
        • Cover mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
        • Wash your hands with soap or use sanitiser
        • Avoid touching your nose, eyes and mouth
        • Drink plenty of water and have nutritious food
        • Sleep for 8 hours every night
        • Avoid handshakes/contact greetings
        • Avoid self-medication
        Home remedies to avoid swine flu
        • Eat five Tulsi (Basil) leaves every morning. The therapeutic properties of Tulsi cure throat infections and keeps lungs clear.
        • One can have two pods of raw garlic early in the morning with lukewarm water.
        • Aloe vera (gwarpatha) also boost immunity. 
        • Have a glass of hot or lukewarm milk every night with some amount of haldi (turmeric). 
        • A small piece of camphor (kapoor) approximately the size of a tablet should be taken once or twice a month.

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