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Swine flu

About swine flu.

Swine flu also known as H1N1 flu, hog flu or pig flu is an infection by one of several types of swine influenza virus.  The Swine influenza virus (SIV) is a strain of the flu virus that is endemic in pigs.

The swine flu virus is common in pigs worldwide: however the transfer of the virus from pigs to humans is not common and does not always lead to human influenza. In most cases the human body only produces antibodies in the blood. If transmission does cause human influenza, it is called swine flu. People with regular contact with pigs are at greater risk of swine flu infection. If the meat of a pig with the flu strain is cooked properly there is no risk of transfer.

In 1918 there was a swine flu pandemic; the H1N1 strain of swine flu is one of the descendants of this strain. There was also an outbreak of swine flu in the U.S in 1976 when a solider was infected.

The name ’swine flu’ brings fear and worry, but it is important to note that swine flu is just an influenza A H1N1 virus which means that it is just another form of flu virus, just like the seasonal flu. The big difference is that the swine flu A (H1N1) virus has parts of pig and bird flu viruses in it, so that humans don’t have any immunity to it.

Symptoms

The symptoms of swine flu vary from one person to the next, the most common are;

  • Fever, which is usually high.
  • cough
  • runny nose or stuffy nose
  • sore throat
  • body aches
  • headache
  • chills
  • fatigue or tiredness, which can be extreme
  • Diarrhoea and vomiting.
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