· Swine influenza (H1N1) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza virus. These days, it has become fatal for humans.
Till now, the disease has claimed 812 lives across India in 2015. Majority of cases are found in Jammu and Kashmir, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Delhi and Telangana.
· Swine influenza is contagious. It spreads quickly from person to person through air, mucus and saliva particles.
· Symptoms of swine flu are similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu - cough, fever, headache, sore throat, muscle pain, chills, vomiting or diarrhea.
· People at the risk include: children below three years of age, pregnant women, adults above 60 years of age, people with weakened immune systems.
· Swine flu can be diagnosed only through test in a specialized laboratory by identifying the particular antigens associated with the virus type.
· Rs 4500 is the charge fixed by Delhi government for H1N1 test. Private labs are charging up to Rs 10,000.
Test kits for swine flu are available with Dr Lal Pathlabs and SRL Diagnostics. These two private laboratories are authorized by the government.
· Oseltamivir - trade name Tamiflu, is the recommended anti viral drug to treat swine flu.