Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Swine Flu Precautions

Swine influenza(swine flu) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza virus that regularly causes outbreaks of influenza in pigs. There is no medicine for that till now.They have asked time for finding medicine.That has became a big issue in India and all over world. Swine flu viruses cause high levels of illness and low death rates in pigs.As per scientific observations, scientists believe that the swine flu virus is weak and spreading slowly.

According to a Wired magazine report published on 4 May, two scientists, Allen and Slezak, of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory found the latest strain A(H1N1) of swine flu to be "comparatively benign" when they compared it with historical strains that spread widely, with catastrophic effect. Their findings match with two other early analyses.Scientists have known for a long time that vitamin D produced by an exposure to the sunlight boosts the immunity and prevents flu and cold. John J Cannell and his fellow researchers reviewed epidemiological studies of influenza (flu) and found that vitamin D boosts the innate immunity and helps in preventing as well as curing flu.Researchers have found that a low dose (800 IU/day) of vitamin D not only reduces reported incidence, but abolishes the seasonality of reported colds and flu.A higher dose (2000 IU/day), virtually eradicates all incidence of colds or flu . Sunlight is so effective that even a short exposure of 10 to 15 minutes can produce several thousand IU of vitamin D in the skin. Excess amounts produced are stored in the body fat for future use.Epidemiological studies have found that the main reason behind a flu infection is vitamin D deficiency. So, if you get enough sunlight exposure, you will be immune against this infectious disease.AHRQ (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality) is a U.S.

Department of Health and Human Services agency. The agency reviewed many scientific studies on the effect of hospital environment on patient outcome and drew the following conclusions in its publication "The Hospital Built Environment":

Access to sunlight has positive effects on patient outcomes and patient and staff satisfaction.

Windowless hospital rooms have negative effects on patient outcomes and satisfaction.


Patients in sunlit wards recover more quickly; therefore, flu patients must be exposed to sunlight.



Should we wear mask to avoid

Information on the effectiveness of facemasks and respirators for decreasing the risk of influenza infection in community settings is extremely limited. So, it is difficult to assess their potential effectiveness in decreasing the risk of Swine Flu virus transmission in these settings.However, a well-fitted, FDA-approved mask together with other preventive measures MAY reduce the risk of contracting the flu.


Precautions

Two things - soap and water can reduce the chance of infection by 30 per cent. All you need to do is keep washing your hand with soap and water frequently. Wash hands frequently with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand cleaner when soap and water are not available. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth

Eat healthy: Proteins are essential to help your body maintain and build strength. Lean meat, poultry, fish, legumes, dairy, eggs, and nuts and seeds are good sources of protein.

The Food and Drug Administration recommends that adults eat 50 grams of protein per day. Pregnant and nursing women need more. By eating foods high in protein, we also get the benefit of other healing nutrients such as vitamins B6 and B12, both of which contribute to a healthy immune system.

Vitamin B6 is widely available in foods, including protein foods such as turkey and beans as well as potatoes, spinach, and enriched cereal grains. Proteins such as meats, milk, and fish also contain vitamin B12, a powerful immune booster.

Minerals such as selenium and zinc work to keep the immune system strong. These minerals are found in protein rich foods such as beans, nuts, meat, and poultry.

Exercise: Regular exercise may help prevent the flu. According to recent findings, when moderate exercise is repeated on a near daily basis, there is a cumulative immune-enhancing effect. That is, your strong immune system can fight flu better. When you exercise, your white blood cells -- the blood cells that fight infections in the body .Travel through your body more quickly, fighting bacteria and viruses (such as flu) more efficiently. To maintain good health, experts recommend at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity such as walking, swimming, biking, or running each day.

Avoid travelling unnecessarily. However, if you must travel, check how the country you're going to handles swine flu.


How does it Spread

The new swine flu virus is highly contagious, that is it spreads from person to person. The virus is spread through the droplets that come out of the nose or mouth when someone coughs or sneezes. If someone coughs or sneezes and they do not cover it, those droplets can spread about one metre (3ft). If you are very nearby you might breathe them in.

Or, if someone coughs or sneezes into their hand, those droplets and the virus within them are easily transferred to surfaces that the person touches, such as door handles, hand rails, telephones and keyboards. If you touch these surfaces and touch your face, the virus can enter your system, and you can become infected.

Who are affected more

  • chronic (long-term) lung disease, including people who have had drug treatment for their asthma within the past three years,
  • chronic heart disease,
  • chronic kidney disease,
  • chronic liver disease,
  • chronic neurological disease (neurological disorders include motor neurone disease, Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis),
  • suppressed immune systems (whether caused by disease or treatment),
  • diabetes,
  • pregnant women,
  • people aged 65 or older, and
  • young children under five.
Symtoms

Swine flu symptoms are similar to the symptoms of regular flu and include fever of over 100.4°F, fatigue, lack of appetite, and cold. Some people with swine flu have also reported runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. Nearly everyone with flu has at least two of these symptoms.

So, how do you know if you have flu or just cold?
There is one clue: when you have the flu, you feel flu symptoms sooner than you would cold symptoms, and they come on with much greater intensity. With the flu, you may feel very weak and fatigued for up to 2 or 3 weeks. You'll have muscle aches and periods of chills and sweats as fever comes and goes. You may also have a stuffy or runny nose, headache, and sore throat.

Can I compare flu symptoms with cold symptoms?
Yes. The following chart can help you compare flu symptoms with cold symptoms. Use it to lean the differences and similarities between flu and cold symptoms. Then, if you get flu symptoms, call your doctor and ask about an antiviral drug.

Symptoms
Cold
Flu
FeverRare
Characteristic, high 100-102 degrees F); lasts 3-4 days
HeadacheRare
Prominent
General aches, pains
SlightUsual; often severe
Fatigue, Weakness
Quite mildCan last up to 2-3 weeks
Extreme Exhaustion
Never
Early and prominent
Stuffy Nose
Common
Sometimes
Chest Discomfort,CoughMild to moderate; hacking coughCommon; can become severe

You cannot confirm if you have swine flu just based on your symptoms. Like seasonal flu, pandemic swine flu can cause neurologic symptoms in children. These events are rare, but, as cases associated with seasonal flu have shown, they can be very severe and often fatal.

Doctors may offer a rapid flu test, but what you need to understand is a negative result doesn't necessarily mean you don't have the flu. Only lab tests can definitively show whether you've got swine flu. State health departments can do these tests.


Precautions In Schools
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • People who are sick with an influenza-like illness should stay home and keep away from others as much as possible, including avoiding travel, for at least 24 hours after fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Fever should be gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine). Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing
  • Wash your hands often
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
Antiviral drugs can be used to treat swine flu or to prevent infection with swine flu viruses. The anti-viral medicines oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza) are being used to treat people with swine flu. Antiviral drugs work by preventing the flu virus from reproducing. To be effective you need to take them within 48 hours of the symptoms beginning. These flu drugs can decrease the duration of the flu by 1 to 2 days if used within this early time period. These antivirals are usually given for a period of about 5-7 days. It's unclear whether these drugs can prevent complications of the flu. Tamiflu is approved for prevention and treatment in people 1 year old and older. Relenza is approved for treatment of people 7 years old and older and for prevention in people 5 years old and older. These medications must be prescribed by a health care professional.

Side effects: Side effects of antiviral drugs may include nervousness, poor concentration, nausea, and vomiting. Relenza is not recommended for people with a history of breathing problems, such as asthma, because it may cause a worsening of breathing problems. Discuss side effects with your doctor.

Self medication: Antibiotics are a no-no. Chances are that antibiotics will not help your flu symptoms. That's because flu, colds, and most sore throats and bronchitis are caused by viruses. In addition, taking antibiotics when you have a virus may do more harm than good. Taking antibiotics when they are not needed increases your risk of getting an infection later that resists antibiotic treatment. Antibiotics only cure certain infections due to bacteria -- and if taken carelessly, you may get more serious health problems than you bargained for.

Is there a vaccine to treat swine flu virus? No, there isn’t a vaccine yet. But vaccines are being made in large quantities. Clinical tests will begin in August 2009. Depending on how long federal officials wait for the results of these tests, tens of millions of doses of swine flu vaccine could be ready as soon as September 2009, with more vaccine becoming available each month thereafter. The first doses of vaccine likely will go to pregnant women and young children ages 6 months to 4 years, with older school kids to follow.


What should you do immediately?
A: Those of you who have travelled from the affected countries in the past ten days and show symptoms swine flu like fever, cough, sore throat and difficulty in breathing should immediately contact the telephone number given below or visit the nearby Government Hospital.

Important contact numbers:
Outbreak Monitoring Cell (Control Room, NICD): 011-23921401

Websites: www.mohfw.nic.in and www.nicd.nic.in
You can also contact a toll free number 2392 1401 at the National Institute of Communicable Disease

Contact number for each cities:
Bangalore
BIAL Swine Flu Center - 91-80-22001490

SDS TUBERCULOSIS & RAJIV GANDHI INSTITUTE OF CHEST DISEASES(Govt. of Karnataka), Hosur Road, Bangalore - 560029
Helpline No: 91-80-26631923

Chennai
Communicable Disease Hospital, 87, T.H. Road, Tondiarpet, Chennai, Tamil Nadu

Hyderabad
Govt. General and Chest Diseases Hospital, Erragadda , Hyderabad
Hospital Helpline Number - 040-23814939

Kolkata
Beliaghata Infectious Diseases Hospital, 57, Beliaghata Main Road, Kolkata

Mumbai
Kasturba Hospital, Arthur Road, Sane Guruji Marg, Mumbai 400011
Ph: 022- 23083901 / 23092458 / 23000889

New Delhi
Yellow Fever Quarantine Centre, Near AAI Residential Colony, New Delhi
Ph: 91-11-25652129

Influenza Ward, Ward no 5, Second Floor, New Building, RML Hospital, Delhi-1
RML- 91-11-24525211,23404328,23365525- Ext 4328.

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