The Swine flu is one of the influenza (flu) diseases. Although the swine flu is considered highly contagious, it usually shows a mild course.
The symptoms of swine flu are basically the same as those of common seasonal flu. This mainly includes fever and feeling very sick.
The Swine flu is a form of influenza (flu) that can affect humans as well as various mammals. In medicine, the flu pathogen that can lead to swine flu is also known as the influenza A virus H1N1.
In 2009 and 2010, swine flu spread as a so-called pandemic (an infectious disease that crosses national borders and continents). Swine flu is usually accompanied by symptoms such as fever, cough, loss of appetite, as well as vomiting and diarrhea.
The disease is considered highly contagious. Research assumes that the virus responsible for swine flu first showed up in 1918 in the form of what is known as the Spanish flu.
The Swine flu from infection with the offending virus. Such an infection can take place, inter alia, by a droplet infection or by a smear infection. In the context of so-called droplet infections, the virus responsible for swine flu is transmitted to other people through droplets that come from the nasopharynx of infected people.
This is possible, for example, while talking or when the person concerned coughs or sneezes. Since the swine flu virus can survive outside the human body for some time, a so-called smear infection is also possible. This takes place if, for example, the virus is passed on from the person affected to another person when shaking hands.
From here the swine flu virus can now reach the mucous membranes of the mouth or nose. Once the swine flu infection has healed, there is only limited protection against a new infection, because the pathogen can mutate and is then no longer recognized by the immune system as the same virus.
The symptoms of swine flu are basically the same as those of common seasonal flu. This mainly includes fever and feeling very sick. This can lead to aching limbs, a general feeling of weakness, loss of appetite, headaches and profuse sweating. The sick also suffer from a strong cough. There is also a runny nose and the formation of large amounts of mucus.
These symptoms usually occur within four days of being infected with H1N1. In most cases, the symptoms last for about a week, during which time they become less severe. The fever in particular is high with up to 40 degrees Celsius in the first few days, but then quickly subsides.
In addition, there are gastrointestinal symptoms in the context of swine flu. Nausea and vomiting are common. It also leads to stomach and intestinal problems and diarrhea. Abdominal pain is a common symptom.
Contrary to popular belief, swine flu is not much more dangerous than common flu. In most cases the disease takes a very mild course and can hardly be distinguished from normal flu. However, the symptoms make swine flu highly contagious. In addition, the risk of complications is higher.
A suspected diagnosis of the Swine flu can initially take place on the basis of existing, typical symptoms.
In addition to the typical symptoms of influenza, such as sudden onset of fever and cough or runny nose, additional signs such as vomiting and / or diarrhea are characteristic here.
In a few cases, however, swine flu can proceed without any noticeable symptoms for the person concerned. However, a suspected diagnosis of swine flu can only be confirmed after a medical smear taken from the mucous membranes of the mouth or nose.
Although the course of swine flu has so far proven to be predominantly mild, there have been deaths worldwide in connection with the disease. Children who are younger than four years of age, women during pregnancy or people with certain chronic diseases carry a higher risk of more severe courses of swine flu.
In most cases, swine flu is mild to moderate in severity, so that complications are rarely to be feared. However, if they do occur, this extends the duration of the disease. In some cases it is even possible to endanger life.
Secondary infections are one of the most common sequelae of swine flu. The mucous membrane of the respiratory tract can be damaged by the virus causing it to such an extent that other pathogens such as bacteria can easily penetrate the ailing organism. This in turn increases the risk of additional infections such as pneumonia, otitis media or inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis).
How great the damaging extent of the secondary infection, also known as superinfection, turns out to be, depends on the general health of the patient. Seniors, pregnant women, small children or people who already suffer from chronic pre-existing conditions such as bronchial asthma, diabetes mellitus or AIDS (HIV) are particularly at risk for secondary infections. Pneumonia is most common in children as well as young adults.
Another complication of swine flu is myositis (inflammation of the muscles). Encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), especially in children, can occur. A rare but very dangerous sequela of swine flu is lung failure. The germs attack the lungs and lead to inflammation of their tissue. Because there is hardly any gas exchange within the alveoli, in extreme cases the patient may die from suffocation.
Immediate treatment by a doctor is necessary in the case of swine flu to prevent further symptoms and complications. Only through early diagnosis and treatment of the disease can death be prevented. See a doctor if the patient has a very high fever. The fever occurs for no particular reason and lasts for a relatively long time.
The patients also suffer from severe headaches, sweating and, in general, from tiredness and a feeling of weakness. A doctor should always be consulted with these complaints. Colds and coughs are also indicative of swine flu and should be investigated. Some patients also have chest pain or severe diarrhea and vomiting.
If these symptoms occur over a longer period of time, a general practitioner should be consulted. Further treatment is usually carried out by a general practitioner.
Appropriate therapeutic treatment of the Swine flu initially depends on the course of the disease; If the swine flu is mild, treatment of the symptoms is usually sufficient. After consultation with the attending physician, this is possible, for example, with the help of medication with a fever-lowering effect or with medicines that fight cold symptoms.
Occasionally swine flu brings about various bacterial infections, such as acute bronchitis (an inflammatory disease of the airways). If this is the case, a corresponding disease can, if necessary, be countered with antibiotics, for example. Depending on the individual case, swine flu can also be treated with specific flu remedies; this can be necessary, for example, for those affected who have chronic underlying diseases.
If appropriate flu medication is administered quickly after the first symptoms of swine flu, the virus can be prevented from multiplying in the body. A risk assessment is usually carried out by the treating doctor in advance of such medication.
That is to be prevented Swine flu especially by avoiding contact with the offending virus. Regular cleaning of the hands and avoiding close physical contact with those affected can contribute to this. It is especially important not to touch your own face with uncleaned hands. And avoiding large events or wearing respiratory protection can ultimately help prevent swine flu.
Swine flu is an infectious disease that can permanently weaken the body. The patient often feels this clearly even after the therapy has ended. Therefore, aftercare is primarily geared towards two things: On the one hand, it aims to avoid a relapse, and on the other hand, the organism should be able to regenerate itself sustainably. Aftercare is usually discussed with the treating house type.
After surviving the illness, it is important that the patient does not immediately reach his / her limit, but rather gradually increases his / her performance through a range of possible measures. Getting enough and restful sleep is an important factor after recovery. A healthy diet is also important. Fruits and vegetables provide the body with vitamins.
The amount you drink is also important. About one and a half to two liters of water and / or herbal tea daily are necessary so that the metabolic processes in the body can run physiologically and the circulation is stabilized. In return, everything that harms the organism should be avoided. These include alcohol, nicotine and drugs.
Protection against further infections is also part of follow-up care. Clothing that is appropriate for the outside temperature or avoiding close contact with the sick are just as efficient measures as reducing stress in those affected.
With swine flu, self-help is the same as with classic flu. Rest, enough sleep and a sufficient amount of water to drink are the factors that are in the foreground. Physical rest is important for regeneration and to prevent the infection from spreading to the heart muscle. Drinking it moisturizes the mucous membranes and makes it easier to cough up the mucus from the bronchi, which is common in this form of viral infection. Still water and herbal teas with anti-inflammatory properties such as sage or chamomile are particularly recommended. Ribwort plantain and ivy preparations have also proven effective for coughing.
Inhalations can also be helpful against the infection of the respiratory tract. In addition, rubbing with essential oils alleviates the symptoms and for moisture in the bedroom of the person affected, a small bowl of water can be placed on the heater or, alternatively, a damp cloth can be hung up. Neck wraps and leg wraps are classic home remedies. Neck wraps work directly on the respiratory tract, while calf wraps are a proven means of lowering fever and can also be used well on children. Gargling or sucking a candy can be used for swallowing difficulties.
Fresh air in the person's bedroom is important in the event of a viral infection. Regular ventilation should be routine. Cold baths should be taken with caution if the patient has a fever in order not to unnecessarily burden the patient's weakened circulation.