Swine flu is a disease caused by the H1N1 influenza virus infection . It is called swine flu because this disease first occurred in pigs , then infected humans. Swine flu then spread between humans and caused a pandemic in 2009.
Swine flu is a zoonotic disease , which is a disease that is transmitted from animals to humans. This disease is contagious quickly if a person inhales the saliva splash ( droplet ) of the sufferer when sneezing or coughing. Swine flu is susceptible to infection in children, the elderly, pregnant women, and people with weak immune systems.
One of the most effective ways to prevent swine flu is to undergo routine vaccination. In 2020, several researchers discovered that many of these swine flu viruses mutated and produced new types of viruses. This new swine flu virus has the potential to cause a pandemic in the next few years.
The symptoms of swine flu are similar to the symptoms of COVID-19. Therefore , if you experience symptoms of swine flu, immediately check yourself with a doctor to confirm the condition. Click the link below so that you can be directed to the nearest health facility:
- Rapid Antibody Test
- Antigen Swab (Rapid Antigen Test)
Causes of Swine Flu
Swine flu is caused by the H1N1 influenza virus. Just like other influenza viruses, the virus will attack cells in the nose, throat, and lungs. The way the H1N1 virus is transmitted is similar to other influenza viruses, namely inhaling saliva splashes ( droplets ) from a patient who sneezes or coughs.
Transmission can also occur if droplets containing the virus stick to the eyes, nose, and mouth. However, this virus cannot spread through the consumption of pork and its products, such as ham or pork sausage.
After the WHO declared the swine flu pandemic over, the H1N1 virus was considered a seasonal flu and was considered almost similar to the common flu .
When it becomes a pandemic, swine flu most often occurs in children and young adults. In addition, the risk of contracting swine flu also increases in someone who lives or travels to an area where a swine flu outbreak occurs.
In some people, swine flu usually causes mild to moderate symptoms. However, there are several factors that can increase the risk of complications and aggravate the symptoms of swine flu, namely:
- is pregnant
- Under 5 years old or over 65 years old
- Suffering from chronic diseases, such as asthma, heart disease , or diabetes
- Having a weak immune system, for example due to suffering from HIV/AIDS
- Long-term use of aspirin, especially if under 19 years of age
- Being overweight or obese
- Work as a doctor, nurse, or other health worker
Symptoms of Swine Flu
Swine flu symptoms appear 1–4 days after a person is exposed to the H1N1 virus. It should be known that swine flu has similar symptoms to the common flu so that the two are difficult to distinguish.
Symptoms that can appear in swine flu are:
- Red and watery eyes
- Colds and stuffy nose
- Sore throat
- Skin rash
- Aches and pains
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
When should you go to the doctor?
Check with a doctor if you experience the complaints mentioned above, especially if the complaints get worse and you have conditions that can increase the risk of complications from swine flu, for example suffering from a chronic disease, being pregnant, or being elderly.
If the symptoms you experience worsen or emergency signs appear, immediately go to the IGD service of the nearest hospital to get medical help. Some of the emergency signs that you should be aware of are:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle paralysis
- Vomiting is great
Diagnosis of Swine Flu
The doctor will ask about the symptoms experienced by the patient and perform a physical examination first. After that, the doctor will advise the patient to undergo further examination. The purpose is to find out whether or not there is a swine flu virus that attacks the respiratory tract.
Further examinations that will be carried out by the doctor include:
- Rapid test , to detect the swine flu virus in a faster way, but with a lower level of accuracy
- Nose and throat swab test , to ensure the type of virus that infects
Not all patients with swine flu symptoms should undergo further examination. Some of the conditions that require patients to undergo the test are:
- Has undergone hospitalization in the hospital
- High risk of complications due to swine flu
- Living with people who are at high risk of complications from swine flu
Swine Flu Treatment
Swine flu treatment will be adapted to the symptoms experienced by the patient. Disease history and the presence or absence of special conditions, such as pregnancy, also determine the type of treatment that will be chosen by the doctor.
For patients whose symptoms are mild, the doctor can do some of the following to alleviate complaints:
- Get enough rest
- Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration
- Taking medicine to relieve fever or pain, such as ibuprofen and paracetamol
However, there are some cases of swine flu that require hospital treatment, especially if the patient is at high risk of complications. Doctors will usually prescribe antiviral drugs, such as:
Keep in mind, doctors will not give antibiotics to treat the flu. This is because antibiotics cannot kill viruses. However, antibiotics can be given if the patient has a bacterial infection that occurs at the same time as the flu.
Complications of Swine Flu
In certain circumstances, swine flu can cause complications, such as:
- Exacerbation of chronic diseases, such as asthma or heart disease
- Ear infection
- short of breath
- Nervous system disorders, such as seizures and impaired consciousness
Swine Flu Prevention
The main way to avoid swine flu is to get the influenza vaccine . The vaccine, which is generally recommended once in 1 year, can help build the body's defenses against the H1N1 virus.
In addition to the vaccine, there are some simple ways that can be applied to prevent the transmission and spread of swine flu, among them:
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Do not travel to areas where there are cases of swine flu.
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water or hand sanitizer that contains 70% alcohol.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you sneeze or cough, then throw the tissue in the trash after use.
- Do not share personal belongings, such as towels, with others.
- Clean frequently touched surfaces, such as door handles.
- Avoid touching the eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid direct contact with swine flu sufferers.