H1N1 Swine Flu

A Preventable Vaccine Disease

Identification and Definition

H1N1 Flu is an influenza virus that caused a pandemic in 2009. It is often called the swine flu because the genetic makeup is similar to influenza viruses that pigs get. It is very contagious spreading to people worldwide. Vaccination is recommended to everyone to prevent the spread of H1N1 flu.

History of H1N1 Flu

H1N1 virus was first discovered in April 2009. By June 2009, the World Health Organization declared that H1N1 is a pandemic spreading across the world. The Center for Disease Control estimated about 90% of hospitalizations and 88% of deaths occurred in people under the age of 65.

Signs and Symptoms of H1N1 Flu

Some symptoms that you may experience if you have H1N1 flu:
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Body aches
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Headaches
  • Chills
  • Fatigue

There have been cases of vomiting and diarrhea. Death has also been associated with this new influenza virus.

Transmission of H1N1 Flu

H1N1 flu spreads like the seasonal flu. It spreads by person to person from coughing, sneezing, or talking to someone who is infected. It can also spread indirectly by touching an infected surface, and touching their mouth or nose. Infected individuals can spread the disease without noticing symptoms up to 5-7 days. H1N1 virus can survive on a surface of an object for 2-8 hours.

Complications of H1N1 Flu

People that are at high risk for H1N1 flu complications are:
  • Children below the age of 5
  • Pregnant women
  • Adults above the age of 65

Most people will recover within 2 weeks, and not have to go to the hospital. Complications that can occur is death in severe cases. People also develop pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections, ear infections, and make chronic diseases worse.

Recommended Control Measures for H1N1 Flu

The best way to protect against the H1N1 flu is a H1N1 vaccine. There are currently two kinds that are available which is the H1N1 flu shot and the nasal spray. The difference between the two is that the shot has dead virus, and the nasal spray has weakened viruses. Two weeks after vaccination the body should develop antibodies to protect against H1N1.

There are other ways to prevent H1N1 spread like:

  • Washing you hands with soap and water.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms then stay at home and avoid spreading it to others.
  • Clean and disinfect infected objects and surfaces.