Swine Influenza-Swine Flu : Everything You Must Know


2016-11-02 11:39:06

Swine Influenza (Swine Flu)

Swine Influenza (Swine Flu)

In India winter is coming now and there’s a flu season.

  • H1N1 is a flu virus.
  • Swine flu viruses may mutate (change) so that they are easily transmissible among humans.
  • The H1N1 swine flu virus appeared in the U.S. in April 2009 and never went away.
  • Symptoms of swine flu in humans are similar to most influenza infections: fever (100 F or greater), cough, nasal secretions, fatigue, and headache.
  • The incubation period for the disease is about one to four days.

Why Flu Season Strikes in Winter

A study from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) found that the virus forms a special outer coating in cold weather that helps it fly through the air — and into another person. Flu is an airborne illness that can be transmitted to another person from as far as six feet, according to the NIH. This cold-weather coating simply helps along this process.

What is Swine Influenza?

Swine flu, also known as 2009 H1N1 type A influenza, is a human disease. People get the disease from other people, not from pigs. The disease originally was nicknamed swine flu because the virus that causes the disease originally jumped to humans from the live pigs in which it evolved. The virus is a "reassortant" - a mix of genes from swine, bird, and human flu viruses. Scientists are still arguing about what the virus should be called, but most people know it as the H1N1 swine flu virus. In the summer, the wet, humid air pulls the virus to the ground, so it’s less likely to be inhaled by someone else.

How many swine flu viruses are there?

Like influenza viruses in humans and other animals, swine flu viruses change constantly. Pigs can be infected by avian influenza and human influenza viruses as well as swine influenza viruses. When influenza viruses from different species infect pigs, the viruses can reassort (i.e. swap genes) and new viruses that are a mix of swine, human and/or avian influenza viruses can emerge. Over the years, different variations of swine flu viruses have emerged. At this time, there are three main influenza A virus subtypes that have been isolated in pigs in the United States: H1N1, H1N2, and H3N2.

How is swine flu transmitted?

Swine flu is transmitted from person to person by inhalation or ingestion of droplets containing virus from people sneezing or coughing; it is not transmitted by eating cooked pork products. The newest swine flu virus that has caused swine flu is influenza A H3N2v (commonly termed H3N2v) that began as an outbreak in 2011. The "v" in the name means the virus is a variant that normally infects only pigs but has begun to infect humans.

Swine Flu Symptoms

These, too, are same as seasonal flu. They can include:

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Body aches
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Fatigue

Like the regular flu, swine flu can lead to more serious problems including pneumonia, a lung infection, and other breathing problems. If you have symptoms like shortness of breath, severe vomiting, pain in your belly or sides, dizziness, or confusion, call your doctor

How Is It Treated?

Some of the same antiviral drugs that are used to treat seasonal flu also work against H1N1 swine flu. Oseltamivir (Tamiflu), peramivir (Rapivab), and zanamivir (Relenza).

Is there a vaccine for swine flu?

Just as there are influenza vaccines for people, there are specific swine influenza vaccines available for pigs.

Do’s and Don’ts:

  •  Avoid close contact with people who are having respiratory illness.
  • Sick persons should keep distance from others.
  •  If possible, stay at home, away from work, school, and public places when you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or handkerchief when coughing or sneezing.
  •  If you have no tissue or handkerchief you should not clean the nose with the hands but with the cuff of your shirt or clothes.
  • Washing your hands often with soap or alcohol based hand wash will help protect from germs.
  • Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
  • Persons who develop influenza-like-illness (ILI) (fever with either cough or sore throat) should be strongly encouraged to selfisolate in their home for 7 days after the onset of illness or at least 24 hours after symptoms have resolved, whichever is longer.

Is there a vaccine for swine flue?

Just as there are some influenza vaccines available for people in India are:  

Source: weather.com, medicinenet.com, webmd.com, medindia.net, CDC.org

Brand Name

Combination Generics




Influenza Vaccine (A&B), H1N1 Vaccine (Swine Flu)

Chiron Panacea (Panacea Biotec Ltd)



Influenza Vaccine (A&B), H1N1 Vaccine (Swine Flu)

Glaxo Smithkline Pharmaceuticals Ltd.



Influenza Vaccine (A&B), H1N1 Vaccine (Swine Flu)

Lupin Laboratories Ltd.



Influenza Vaccine (A&B), H1N1 Vaccine (Swine Flu)

Solvay Pharma India Pvt Ltd



Influenza Vaccine (A&B), H1N1 Vaccine (Swine Flu)

Serum Institute of India Ltd.



Influenza Vaccine (A&B), H1N1 Vaccine (Swine Flu)

Sanofi Pasteur