Swine Flu Causes Anxiety in the General Population

A careful walk in the snow certainly helps to stay healthy. (Dr. Noorali Bharwani)
A careful walk in the snow certainly helps to stay healthy. (Dr. Noorali Bharwani)

The Canadian Lung Association has a logo on their website, “When you can’t breathe, nothing else matters.” That is a pretty serious situation. And that is what swine flu is doing in some parts of Canada.

The media report, as of few days ago, says the virus has claimed the lives of six people in Saskatchewan and 10 people in Alberta. It is also making its presence felt in southwestern B.C. By the time you read this the numbers may have changed.

Getting the flu vaccine is your best protection against H1N1 flu virus. The virus is contagious and infects the breathing tubes in your nose, throat, and lungs. It causes swine flu. Swine or pig flu is a form of influenza that affects pigs, or a form of human influenza that is caused by a related virus. You cannot get H1N1 from properly handled and cooked pork or pork products. People with regular exposure to pigs are at increased risk of swine flu infection.

Symptoms of H1N1 are similar to seasonal flu symptoms. Chills, fever, sore throat, muscle pains, severe headache, coughing, weakness and general discomfort. These symptoms usually come on quickly. If it’s difficult to breathe, then get emergency help right away.

If you have mild or moderate symptoms, stay home for seven to 10 days unless you need to see your doctor or go to emergency. Sleep a lot, drink lots of fluids and stay away from other people. Your doctor will decide if antivirals are right for you. It’s best to start antiviral medicines within the first two days of symptoms.

If your symptoms are getting worse then go straight to hospital emergency. The best way to prevent the H1N1 flu is to get the seasonal flu vaccine. And I hope you have done that.

That is all for today. Sleep well, listen to music, dance and eat healthy. “Human happiness and human satisfaction must come from within oneself. It is wrong to expect some final satisfaction to come from money or computer,” says Dalai Lama.

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