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Is your child protected against Swine Flu?

Neetu Ralhan
All age groups

Created by Neetu Ralhan
Updated on Mar 04, 2013

Is your child protected against Swine Flu

Swine flu is a contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus found in pigs. It is in fact a type of influenza in pigs, which gets transmitted to humans and attacks the respiratory tract (nose, throat and lungs). The first ever case of swine flu in humans was discovered in the year 2009 and the disease was soon declared a pandemic as it spread around the globe. 

Although the WHO declared that the pandemic was over in August 2010, the disease has made a comeback and since January 1st, 2013, over 800 cases have been reported in Delhi alone. As newer cases are being reported from all over the country, it is the need of the hour for us to learn more about the disease and take necessary precautions to safeguard our family members.


How can the swine flu virus be transmitted in Humans?

1. From a pig infected with the virus
2. From a person carrying the virus (through their cough or sneezing)
3. By touching a contaminated surface and then touching one’s eyes, nose or mouth.

Children under 5 years and pregnant women are at a higher risk of catching the infection due to their fragile immune system.

Other high-risk groups include:
1. Senior adults, particularly above the age of 65.
2. A woman who has just delivered a baby or has had a miscarriage.
3. A person having a serious medical condition such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, kidney or liver disease.
4. People suffering from a respiratory disease such as COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).
5. A person whose immunity has been compromised due to prolonged medication for a medical condition.

What may be the most apparent Symptoms of Swine flu?

Symptoms of swine flu are similar to those of the regular flu. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid self-diagnosis and seek immediate medical advice if any of the following symptoms are noticed.

• Fever
• Body pain and headache
• Chills (cold and shivering)
• Sore throat
• Nasal congestion and Cough
• Difficulty in breathing
• Irritability and loss of appetite
• Tiredness and low energy
• Bluish skin around the mouth
• Skin rash
• Diarrhea and vomiting in some cases

Diagnosis and Treatment of Swine Flu

• If your doctor suspects swine flu, they will take the child’s nasal and throat swabs for testing. A blood test and X-ray may also be done depending upon the severity of symptoms.
• The patient may be required to stay quarantined till the test results arrive which takes about 24 hours.
• A patient suffering from swine flu needs plenty of rest. The infection is allowed to pass on its own and antiviral medication is given to provide relief from the symptoms mentioned earlier.
• In some cases, hospitalization may be needed and the doctor may prescribe antibiotics.

Swine flu Vaccination

Several injectable swine flu vaccinations are available on the market, costing about Rs. 600 per dosage. It is advisable to have your child and other family members vaccinated after consulting with your GP.

 

Protecting your Child against Swine Flu

Protecting your child from swine flu requires simple precautionary measures that can help minimize the risk of infection.

• Swine flu is highly contagious. It spreads from person to person through coughing or sneezing. It is important to keep your child away from anyone who shows symptoms of an infection.
• According to the World Health Organization, swine flu does not spread through pork meat; however it is advisable to avoid feeding your child market-bought foods as they may have been handled by an infected person.
• Good hygiene is extremely important. Washing hands and face frequently through the day, particularly before meals and bathing everyday ensures additional protection for your child.
• It is advisable to avoid visiting crowded places during an outbreak in your area.
• It will help to check with your child’s school regarding the precautionary measures being taken.
• If your child is infected, it is best to avoid sending him/her to school to prevent the infection from spreading to other children.
• If diagnosed with the infection, advising the child to cover their mouth and nose while sneezing or coughing will help protect others.


If timely treatment is not given, serious complications can develop and the infection can turn fatal. If you suspect that your child may have swine flu, it is advisable to take her for a thorough medical examination as soon as possible.

 

Image source - www.ithappensonlyinindia.com

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| Mar 07, 2013

Thanks for the detailed article Neetu. Very well compiled and easy to understand. Swine Flu is such a scary sickness.. Its always good to stay informed and know what to look out for. Thanks :)

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| Mar 07, 2013

Dear Thanu, as with some other vaccines, the swine flu vaccination works for most people but may not work for some. Your doctor is the best person to advise you on this. It is important for us to check with our doctor and not administer the vaccine on our own. Hope this helps!

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| Mar 06, 2013

very nice info but the vaccination given to children to avoid swine flu is tat really going to avoid flu attack ?

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| Mar 06, 2013

good one

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| Mar 06, 2013

good one

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| Mar 06, 2013

good one

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| Mar 06, 2013

thxs for sharing such inf

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| Mar 05, 2013

Very nicely written

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| Mar 05, 2013

Very nicely written

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| Mar 04, 2013

Neetu, This is very informative and well written blog. Thanks for the information.

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