Must Know Swine Flu Vaccinations, Precautions & Advice
Created by Neetu Ralhan Updated on Jan 31, 2020
With the recent H1N1 swine flu threat in the city of Delhi & Kolkata & other parts of India, doctors are being careful of any symptoms leading to swine flu. Given the increasing number of cases being reported in other countries also, there's a lot of anxiety among parents regarding swine flu. The anxiety is understandable however, we all need to understand that what you hear in the news is probably cases where people were already predisposed to some risk and the condition had probably aggravated before they received proper medical attention. [Explore Prevention from H1N1 swine flu virus]
To answer some critical questions about the condition, we sought the expert advice of Dr. Rajiv Chhabra, Paediatrician, Artemis Hospital, Gurgaon.
What is Swine flu?
Swine flu is a respiratory disease caused by flu viruses (H1N1 & H3N2v) which infect the respiratory tract. Swine flu is contagious and generally infects people by entering through nostrils and mouth. The virus spreads through infected person’s sneeze or cough or from germs on hands. It is not transmitted by eating cooked pork products.
What Are The Swine Flu Vaccinations?
Dr. Rajiv Chabbra, HoD, Paediatrics, Artemis Health Institute, Gurgaon says, "The productive efficacy of the vaccination is about 87% and it works better for children aged 5 years and less, and adults over 50. For others, it may or may not work." Furthermore, getting the vaccine now would be like trying to buy an umbrella when you're in the middle of the monsoon. It takes about 2-3 weeks for the effect of the vaccine to come in. So if you get it now, we can't be sure that it will be beneficial.
How is Swine Flu Treated?
Usually, no special medication is given if the infection is caught at an early stage. That is why we need to be alert to ensure timely diagnosis.
Two antiviral medicines, zanamivir (Relenza) and oseltamivir (Tamiflu) have been known to reduce the effects of swine flu if administered within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms. Depending on the condition, the patient would be treated for flu and would have to be kept in isolation till the symptoms subside.
What Precautions Must be Taken to Avoid 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. .
- Do not ignore the symptoms: runny nose, cough, sore throat, chills, fever, fatigue and headache.
- Avoid contact with infected persons.
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water.
- Cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing.
- Stay at home if you are ill.
- As a precautionary measure, avoid taking children to crowded places or large gatherings such as weddings.
For more read swine flu precautions & more here as well.
What We Advice to Parents:
Do not panic. Take basic precautions just as you would to protect your children from any form of infection. Ensure routine hand-washing and maintain hygiene. Watch out for sneezing and coughing. Do not let the child go to school if they have a cold, cough or other symptoms such as fever, nasal discharge, unexplained fatigue or a headache.
Seek medical attention at the earliest if these swine flu symptoms persist.
| Mar 05, 2015
Hi Sayani Mahajan! Cough and cold alone do not indicate so but if there are other severe symptoms present alone or alongwith other symptoms such as fever, chills, diarrhoea, vomiting, bodyaches, sore throat,headache,fatigue one should definitely go for blood tests. However, it is advisable to consult your pediatrician regarding same.