Swine flu, also known as H1N1 influenza, is a respiratory illness caused by the H1N1 virus. The virus is called “swine flu” because it was originally thought to have originated in pigs. The virus spreads from person to person in the same way as the regular flu, through coughing, sneezing, or touching surfaces contaminated with the virus.
Symptoms of swine flu are similar to those of the regular flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. In some cases, diarrhea and vomiting may also occur.
Most people with swine flu recover without any complications, but in some cases, it can lead to severe illness or even death, especially in people with weakened immune systems, the elderly, and young children.
Prevention is the best way to avoid getting swine flu. This includes washing your hands frequently, avoiding close contact with sick people, covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and staying home if you are sick.
There is a vaccine available to protect against swine flu, which is included in the seasonal flu vaccine. If you are at higher risk for swine flu, such as healthcare workers or people with certain medical conditions, it’s important to get vaccinated.
If you think you or someone you know may have swine flu, it’s important to contact a healthcare provider for advice. They can determine if testing and treatment are needed and provide guidance on how to manage the illness.