It’s the story of each winter. Every year, as the cold kicks in, the flu season starts. These regular flus are temporary, widespread and generally non-dangerous. But this is not true of swine flu. Ever since 2009, people have become more cautious and want to know more about the deadly H1N1 virus, so as to be able to handle it if it arrived.
How does one contract swine flu?
As is with regular flu viruses, the H1N1 viruses also spread from one person to another through sneezing or coughing. They may also contract it if they bring a virus infected hand close to their nose/ mouth. Basically, only if the virus gets in tough with the internal body does it start its infestation. Once it spreads itself, people start observing changes in the body.
Symptoms of H1N1 infestation:
These start out as general flu symptoms like bad cough and fever, but marked differences are observed after some time, some of which are-
• Rapid breathing.
• Grayish-bluish skin color.
• Severe persistent vomiting.
• Sudden loss of energy.
Differences between the regular flu and Swine flu-
As from the symptoms, one can understand that the only difference understandable by symptom reading is vomiting and diarrhea. Other differences include:
1. The Virus: H1N1 virus originates from mutation in an animal strain whereas the regular flu virus doesn’t come from any source near to animals.
2. Danger level: Swine flu is much more fatal than regular flu. Except from the fact that it inherently has more potential to cause damage, it is also a virus from which people have no protection, which makes it more dangerous.
3. Treatment: Treatment for H1N1 is more complicated and challenging than common flu because previous cases and references are not there, also, it is a comparatively newer phenomenon.
The H1N1 virus was developed after 2009 to help people whereas medicines have always been there for seasonal attacks. Also, people over 65 are more likely to have seasonal flu than swine flu, whereas the younger generation is at a better position to contract H1N1. This happens because H1N1 has the strength to infiltrate even strong immune systems, unlike normal viruses which feed and grow on the weaker population.
Experts believe that a virology test is the most true and safe way to find out whether one is suffering from swine or normal flu, but basic knowledge of other differences also helps patients in making more informed decisions about treatment options etc. if and when they contract H1N1. This virus has the potential of taking away lives; it is nowhere similar to the regular flu attacks. If the pandemic hits in large numbers, there is a great chance of a staggering death toll, and loss of youth of the society. Hence, it is very important to be able to identify the killer in its infancy and take care of the problem once and for all.