Swine flu is caused by a strain of viruses, known as the H1N1 flu virus, according to the NHS.
It’s similar to normal, more common flu, but symptoms tend to be more severe, and it could be deadly.
A 14-year-old boy is fighting for his life after being diagnosed with swine flu on Christmas Day, it was revealed earlier this week.
Robert Brennan was put into a medically-induced coma, and is now being treated for the viral infection at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, his mother said.
The news followed reports that up to four people had died from an outbreak of the H1N1 virus in the Republic of Ireland.
Ireland’s Health Service Executive (HSE) warned that more people may become infected over the following weeks.
You can lower your risk of becoming infected with swine flu by getting the flu jab, urged Jakemans expert and pharmacist Marvin Munzu.
“Most swine flu strains are covered by regular annual flu jabs which you can get from your doctor or nearest pharmacy,” he told Express.co.uk.
“There are other things you can do to help recover from the flu such as rest and sleep, keep warm, take paracetamol or ibuprofen to lower your temperature, and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.”
But, if you think you may have swine flu, you should speak to a doctor straight away if you’re elderly, pregnant, or have a weakened immune system from an underlying medical condition, he said.
Swine flu symptoms are very similar to some more common conditions, and they can be easily missed.
But, signs of the infection tend to be more severe than the common cold or flu, warned Munzu.
“Swine flu is more likely to include diarrhoea and vomiting as well as all the other symptoms from a normal flu,” he said.
“Studies show that the swine flu strain infects deeper into the lungs than the normal flu, so symptoms may feel a bit more severe than normal flu.”
Common swine flu symptoms include a cough, a sore throat, and a runny or stuffy nose, added the pharmacist.
It could also cause watery, red eyes, body aches, headaches, fatigue, nausea, and diarrhoea.
On occasions, patients may also develop a high fever, but that’s not always the case, he said.
The symptoms are most likely to rear their heads up to three days after the initial infection.
If you develop flu, you should call 999, or go straight to A&E, if you suddenly develop chest pain or have difficulty breathing, warned the NHS.
It’s also crucial to avoid spreading the flu virus further. You can limit the spread of the virus by regularly washing your hands with warm, soapy water, and by binning tissues as soon as you’ve used them to blow your nose.
The flu jab is the best way to reduce your risk of catching flu, as well as spreading it to other people.
Swine flu symptoms
• Fever (but not always)
• Sore throat
• Runny or stuffy nose
• Watery, red eyes
• Body aches
• Nausea and vomiting
Published at Sat, 05 Jan 2019 12:33:00 +0000