You might confuse swine flu with influenza. We sort you out by listing the symptoms of swine flu, and how to deal with it.

A few years ago, swine flu became a global pandemic that scared the worldwide community. It was seen as the biggest outbreak of an infectious disease since the dreaded Ebola virus. But in later years, swine flu has been taken off the ‘hazardous’ list, though it is still a top priority whenever an outbreak is suspected in any part of the world.

But it is easy enough to confuse swine flu with influenza. So how do you find out if you’ve got it?

The symptoms of swine flu

The illness is so named because it is said to have originated from pigs in 2009, in Mexico. Pigs infected with the virus ended up infecting other pigs when their nasal droplets were inhaled by animals in their vicinity. As a result, the affected pigs showed listlessness, inability to eat or lack of appetite, high body temperature and wheezing. Several pigs were reported killed at the time.

However, the illness is not contained to pigs alone – humans in contact with infected pigs can get it too, and also spread it to other humans the same way that flu is spread. The symptoms of swine flu in humans include breathing difficulties, wheezing, high fever, lack of appetite and nausea, hacking or phlegmy cough, difficulty in swallowing owing to painful throat, etc. Advanced symptoms of swine flu include vomiting and diarrhoea.

The symptoms of swine flu are thus more in number and higher in intensity than those of flu.

How to deal with swine flu if you’ve got it

Modern medicine does not have a cure or vaccine against swine flu yet. At best, you can take Tamiflu tablets to suppress the symptoms and help the body build resistance towards the disease. Also, maintaining strict standards for personal hygiene can help break the transmission of the infectious germs among humans.

Thus, prevention is the only way to deal with the symptoms of swine flu, and the illness itself. If there is an outbreak of swine flu in your city, do follow this preventive guide to keep yourself and your loved ones safe:

  • Invest in a good face mask to keep your nose and mouth protected from infectious droplets from somebody else.
  • Most swine flu cases are caused by the hands transferring the germs from contaminated surfaces and people to themselves. Do wash your hands every hour with antibacterial soap during swine flu season, or use hand sanitiser.
  • The responsible thing to do if you suffer from swine flu is to quarantine yourself. Going out when you have swine flu puts others at risk of getting the disease. Wash your clothes in a separate laundry load after soaking in antiseptic liquid for about one hour. Keep yourself hydrated with fresh water and eat light food.