What is swine flu?
Swine flu, also known as the H1N1 virus, is a relatively new strain of an influenza virus that causes symptoms similar to the regular flu. It originated in pigs but is spread primarily from person to person.
Like other strains of the flu, H1N1 is highly contagious, allowing it to spread quickly from person to person. A simple sneeze can cause thousands of germs to spread through the air. The virus can linger on tables and surface areas like door knobs, waiting to be picked up.
The best means of dealing with swine flu is to prevent it. Hand sanitization is important to stop the spread of the virus. Staying away from infected people will help stop person-to-person transmission.
Causes of swine flu
Swine flu is caused by a strain of influenza virus that usually only infects pigs. Transmission usually occurs from person to person, not animal to person.
You can’t catch swine flu from eating properly cooked pork products.
Swine flu is very contagious. The disease is spread through saliva and mucus particles. People may spread it by:
- touching a germ-covered surface and then touching their eyes or nose
The symptoms of swine flu are very much like those of regular influenza. They include:
- sore throat
- runny or stuffy nose
- body aches
- nausea and vomiting
Diagnosing swine flu
Your doctor can make a diagnosis by sampling fluid from your body. To take a sample, your doctor or a nurse may swab your nose or throat.
The swab will be analyzed using various genetic and laboratory techniques to identify the specific type of virus.