• Virendra Singh

Swine flu symptoms, causes, and prevention

Swine flu is an influenza virus that can be transmitted to humans. During the year 2009-10, the H1N1 virus give rise to respiratory infection in humans. After the huge impact of swine flu on people around the globe, the WHO announced the H1N1 virus to be a global pandemic.

Swine flu symptoms, causes, and prevention


Swine flu is a term that refers to influenza in pigs. Not so often, the influenza virus is transmitted to humans. Rarely, the infection of swine flu is passed from one person to another.

The scientist recognized a particular strain of flu virus as H1N1, during the spring of 2009. The H1N1 virus is a mixture of pigs, birds, and human viruses. During the year 2009-10, the H1N1 virus give rise to respiratory infection in humans which was commonly referred to as swine flu. After the huge impact of swine flu on people around the globe, the WHO announced the H1N1 virus to be a global pandemic.

During August 2010, the WHO declared the pandemic over. The scientists have changed the method to name a virus since 2010. The swine flu virus is currently known as H1N1v. The term “v” refers to variant and specifies that the virus generally circulates in animals but has been detected in humans as well. In the year 2011, the scientists found another strain, H3N2v, which has been circulating in humans and this also causes the flu. The flu vaccine for 2018-19 includes both the strains.

Symptoms of swine flu

The signs and symptoms that swine flu has are alike to infections caused by other flu strains and might include:

  • Nausea & vomiting

  • Not always, but often fever

  • Raw throat

  • Cough

  • Rhinorrhea

  • Watery, red eyes with cold

  • Body pain

  • Severe headache

  • Drowsiness

  • Diarrhea

Generally, the symptoms of swine flu virus develop after 1-3 days of exposure to the virus.

When to see a doctor:

Generally, it is not so necessary to visit a doctor if you are healthy in general and develop flu signs and symptoms, such as fever, cough and body pain. You should visit a doctor if you have symptoms of flu and you are pregnant or you have a condition, such as asthma, COPD, diabetes or cardiac disease, because you can have a greater risk of complications from the flu.

Causes of swine flu:

Influenza virus attacks the cells that line your nose, throat, and lungs. The virus comes into your body when you breathe in contaminated droplets from a contaminated surface to your eyes, nose, or mouth.

You won’t get swine flu by eating pork.

Risk factors:

The risk of swine flu is more, where many people are affected by it, you can be exposed to the virus through them.

Those who farm swine have the highest risk of exposure to swine flu, as they work with and are close by pigs.


Few complications are listed below:

  • Worsening of pulmonary conditions

  • Worsening of cardiac conditions

  • Pneumonia

  • Central nervous system complications like confusion to seizures

  • Chronic bronchitis


We all know that prevention is better than cure. Swine flu affects people at large in India so it is important to be proactive and protect ourselves from this deadly disease. The best way to fight the attack of the H1N1 virus is with the help of flu vaccination or flu shots every year. But immunization is an alien concept in India, so it’s significant to maintain certain hygiene preventive measures, which are as follows:

Frequently washing hands:

You should wash your hands with antibacterial soap/liquid and rinse your hands with running water. This will help you clean your hands with germs. Keep yourself away from people who are affected by the flu. Swine flu is contagious, and you can inherit the disease from another person through air or physical contact.

Boost your immune system:

Make your immune system strong to fight against the flu virus. Maintain a healthy diet to keep your immune system strong. Consume citrus fruits like orange, and lemon, green leafy vegetables like spinach, and broccoli, yogurt, and almonds.

Cover your mouth while sneezing or coughing:

Always use a handkerchief or a tissue to cover your mouth while sneezing or coughing, so that the virus does not travel through air and affect someone. Swine flu is a communicable disease and the virus spread through air or any physical contact.

Influenza antiviral medications:

Always consume medications prescribed by a doctor. Visit a doctor, if you feel that your symptoms are worse. The doctor will prescribe antiviral medications according to your condition at that time.

Wear face masks:

Wearing a face mask will protect you against the virus which is spread in the air. It will filter almost 95% of small particles in air and help you protect from the virus. Few masks like N99 and N95 are considered to be protective against bacteria and viruses.

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