The city has witnessed an alarming increase in the count of swine flu cases this year. The traces of this disease was first recognized back in the 1919 pandemic and still circulates as a seasonal flu virus caused by the H1N1 virus strain that started in pigs. However, there are many questions to H1N1 that are still unanswered. Here is our guide to everything that you need to know about Swine Flu or H1N1 virus.

1. Symptoms of Swine flu

H1N1 or Swine flu has certain common symptoms which if kept a check on timely, can avoid serious health hazards. These symptoms are -

- A 100 degree, or higher fever or feeling feverish

- A cough and/or a sore throat

- A runny or stuffy nose

- Headaches and/or body aches

- Fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea

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2. Causes of Swine Flu

Swine flu is a contagious disease. This means when a person suffering from H1N1, cough or sneeze, they spray tiny drops containing the virus into the air. If you come in contact with these droplets or touch a surface that is infected, you can catch H1N1 swine flu.

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3. How to know if you have H1N1

Getting a Swine flu diagnosed is all about getting yourself tested. If you experience the above mentioned symptoms, get yourself a ‘rapid flu test’ done and visit a doctor for an examination of nasopharyngeal swabs.

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4. Swine Flu vaccine

A flu vaccine protects us against seasonal flu and H1N1 influenza virus. It is recommended that everyone above the age of 6 months should get themselves vaccinated at the beginning of winter season.

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5. Avoid spreading Swine Flu virus

If a person is diagnosed with H1N1, it is advised that they wear an N95 face mask for at least one week from the onset of symptoms and take complete rest at home to avoid any kind of close contact with family members and friends.

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6. Precautions to protect children from Swine Flu

When it comes to protecting children against Swine flu, make sure to avoid contact with anyone who has flu-like symptoms, including fever and muscle aches. Apart from that, avoid sending children to crowded settings and get them a vaccine as soon as possible.

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7. Precautions for people with long-term medical conditions like diabetes, renal or liver conditions

It is advised that people with long-term medical conditions like diabetes, renal or liver problems get themselves vaccinated every year without fail.

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As we all know, it's better to be safe than sorry. Take care of yourself and your loved ones by getting a vaccination against Swine flu.