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Swine flu is the name given to H1N1 swine influenza which is the common infection found in pigs around the world. It is a communicable viral disease that transmits from pigs to humans, and then from humans to humans causing symptoms such as respiratory tract infections, fever, chills, sore throat, decreased appetite, diarrhoea and headache.
In 2009, flu caused due to H1N1 virus has infected humans worldwide which is why the World Health Organization declared it a pandemic. Also, in the year 1918, the world had experienced a deadly influenza pandemic called 'Spanish flu' which was caused due to the H1N1 influenza virus.
Swine influenza infects humans who stay in close contact with pigs like pork producers or veterinarians. The cross-species transmission of the virus from pigs to humans usually spreads in a particular area not worldwide. The spread of the virus becomes pandemic due to the genetic variation of the swine flu virus. When this new strain of virus infects humans, due to the unavailability of the antibodies in humans for the new strains, they start showing symptoms at a faster rate, and also infect others through to human-to-human transmission.
How To Prevent Swine Flu
Our immune system is wired in such a way that it starts producing antibodies as soon as it experienced any type of antigen. Therefore, the best way to prevent swine flu is by maintaining a good immune system so that it can efficiently fight against all the antigens entering our body. Take a look at a few tips that help prevent swine flu.
1. Drink Plenty Of Water
Loss of water from the body can cause serious health complications such as dehydration and loss of electrolytes. This may further lead to kidney diseases, headaches, loss of urination and others. Drinking plenty of water helps our body in completing a series of mechanisms efficiently and helps the vital organs to function well, thus boosting our immune system.
2. Maintain Cleanliness & Good Hygiene
To minimize the risk of seasonal or pandemic influenza, the best way is to maintain cleanliness around your living environment and practice good hygiene. Most of the pandemics like swine flu and coronavirus are known to spread by infected air droplets. Therefore, by keeping our house clean and washing hands with alcohol-based handwash can minimize the risk of swine flu to a large extent.
3. Healthy Diet
A well-balanced diet is among the best ways to keep our immune system strong. It contributes to better protection against the virus. Medical experts say that including foods rich in vitamin D, C, magnesium and zinc in our daily diet help boost our immune system and keep all the pathogens at bay.
4. Physical Health
Performing regular exercises or any sort of physical activity helps strengthen our immune system. Physical exercises activate our immune cells which help fight diseases and infections entering our body. A study says that even 30 minutes of daily exercise help reduce the risk of chronic diseases by boosting our immune system.
5. Good Sleep
A study suggests that sleep deprivation or poor sleeping habits can expose humans to many infectious agents. It is because proper sleep helps in the regulation of multiple essential hormones in our body that keep our immune system strong. When the sleep pattern is hampered, the systematic circulation of helpful hormones and the production of white blood cells deteriorate, leading to a decline in the body's immune power.
6. Avoid Alcohol
Increased consumption of alcohol is linked to decreased frequency of white blood cells and increased risk of diseases and infections (both bacterial and viral). Avoiding alcohol helps in the proper functioning of the immune system that helps defend our body against various infectious agents.
7. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that helps to boost immune or defence system of our body and support multiple cellular functions. Several studies say that foods that are rich in vitamin C work as a barrier to pathogens. It also helps enhance the functions of B and T cells which are involved in immunity.
8. Reduce Stress
Acute stress tends to suppress the immunity of our body making it vulnerable to various viral and microbial infections. A study suggests that stress is highly immunosuppressive and a decrease in it can cause increased production of white blood cells and proper hormonal responses leading to a strong immune system.
9. Proper Rest During Illness
Rest during illness is very necessary as it helps in the release of a protein called cytokines by the immune cells. Cytokines help regulate the immune response and produce enough antibodies to fight off infections and make a person ready for the next day.
10. Change Clothes After Work
There's not much evidence to prove how changing clothes to clean ones after work helps in boosting the immune system and fight off infectious agents, but it is precisely a good habit to include in your daily life. This helps to ward off all the dirt, infections, pathogens and foreign agents that we have picked up during working and travelling.
11. Routine Check-up
A routine checkup should be a part of every human life to keep a note of their general health and prevent any bigger issues in the future. Visiting a medical expert at least twice a month helps them evaluate your wellbeing, risk of any chronic diseases and detect any health issues at an early stage for a longer and healthier life.