The swine flu pandemic - Symptoms and Risk Groups

Swine Flu or H1N1

Looking at the northern hemisphere this flu pandemic is totally out of season. The number of cases will increase as the cold weather settles in, so as we approach autumn it's most likely to expect an exponential increase in infected cases.

The ideal scenario for a flu virus to propagate is with cold weather, therefore naturally at this time, the most risky area in the world will be South American countries, Australia and New Zealand.

Until now, the swine flu or H1N1, also known as A virus, has been characterized by it's mild symptoms in the majority of the cases, that can recover without medical treatment. However the total deaths caused by this virus continue to rise, but mainly due to patients who are already in a fragile health condition.

The virus has infected mainly young adults between 20 and 40 years of age. However it can be mortal if the victim belongs to one of these high risk groups:

  • Childrenwith less than 5 years of age - more critical to 2 year old or less: the immune system of these young children are far from totally developed and therefore less prepared to deal with virus;
  • Old age 65 plus: at this age the immune system is decreasing its natural body defense;
  • Pregnant women: in this state some types of medicine are not advisable, and therefore an increase in risk is understandable.
  • People with other chronicle sicknesses or diseases, like asthma, kidney problems, cardiovascular, neurological and diabetes: people who suffer from other sickness or diseases are already have fragile health conditions.

Normal Flu Symptoms

  • Fever: low temperature rarely over 38º
  • Shivering symptom: Rare
  • Nasal Congestion: Strong
  • Cough: Not intensive
  • Soar throat: Moderate
  • Muscle aches: Moderate
  • Eye burning: Light

Symptoms for Swine Flu (H1N1 aka A Virus):

  • Fever: quickly attains high temperatures 39º and above
  • Shivering symptom: Frequent
  • Nasal Congestion: Weak or nonexistent
  • Cough: Intensive and dry
  • Soar throat: Weak or nonexistent
  • Muscle aches: Intensive Eye burning: Intensive

The World Health Organization (WHO) is not obliging quarantine actions currently, but voluntary protection actions are advisable. In case of infection, the patient should be isolated during 10 day period as a precautionary measure.

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