The symptoms of swine flu, precautions and treatments

What are the symptoms of swine flu?
The symptoms of influenza are similar to those of conventional seasonal influenza, ie a sudden fever, cough, muscle aches and extreme fatigue. The swine flu also seems to cause more diarrhea and vomiting as common influenza.

The seasonal flu each year is between 250,000 and 500,000 deaths worldwide.

The influenza viruses mutate constantly, which explains why the vaccine against the flu changes each year. The last pandemic was in 1968. We then had counted one million deaths.

What are the precautions to take?
In affected areas, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of Disease) recall the recommendations to prevent the spread of infectious diseases:

- Wash your hands regularly
- Cover mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
- Avoid close contact with sick people.

In cases of infection, stay home and limit contact with others.

The virus of swine influenza
Influenza viruses are enveloped viruses, RNA, family Orthomyxoviridae. Depending on internal characteristics, types are defined: A, B, C. Subtypes are defined by 2 surface glycoproteins:

- H for haemagglutinin (that allows attachment to host cells),
- N for neuraminidase.

Structure of Influenza Virus

In influenza type A (common to humans and animals), a total of 15 hemagglutinin (H1 to H15) and 9 neuraminidase (N1 to N9) have been identified.

Low resistance, except in cold weather, Influenza A viruses have a huge global pool: the domestic and wild birds (especially ducks), pigs, many animal species and man.

The same strain that can infect animals and humans because of the flu a zoonosis.

What are the treatment of swine flu?
Tamiflu ® is an antiviral medication proven to treat and prevent flu but experts, including the Directorate General of Health and AFSSAPS in France believe that the vaccine would also be preferable in the case of pandemic flu . But Tamiflu ® has been studied and developed on different strains of influenza and the current strain of swine flu strain H1N1 is constituted for the first time, strains of avian, swine and human. The magnitude of the effect of Tamiflu ® in the treatment and prevention of new strains of influenza is not guaranteed.

Are there any vaccines?
Yes, pigs. Not for humans. Although the vaccine production will be fast enough because it identified the virus is an influenza virus for which we know very well produce antidotes. It takes a little while anyway!

The vaccine against seasonal human influenza do not protect against swine flu.


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