What is Swine Flu?

What is swine flu? Well, here are some swine flu facts.

Swine flu is a broad term used to refer to a number of flu viruses that can be contracted by pigs. Some of these swine flu viruses can also be contracted by humans, though it is rare for humans to catch the flu from pigs. To date, there have only been about 50 documented cases in which this has occurred. However, humans can also catch swine flu from other humans.

We have heard a lot about swine flu lately, but the swine flu facts tell us that the current outbreak of swine flu is really not even a virus that pigs get. The current "swine flu," or H1N1 virus, is very similar to a virus found in pigs, but this particular virus itself has never actually been seen in pigs. People just get it from other people.

So what is swine flu like? Swine flu symptoms are very similar to regular flu symptoms, and include fever, headache, body aches, chills, fatigue, sore throat, coughing, sneezing, and runny nose. Swine flu can also cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, which are rather rare with the regular flu.

The swine flu can be very serious, even deadly. Of course, the regular flu can be deadly as well. While the swine flu can be very serious, most cases are actually no worse than the regular flu.

What is swine flu prevention? Well, there is currently a swine flu vaccine that is being produced. The vaccine is expected to be available around the middle of October 2009. The regular flu vaccine will not protect against swine flu; you will need to get the separate vaccine just for swine flu if you want to be protected.

The swine flu facts tell us that there is much you can do to protect yourself from swine flu even if you do not get vaccinated, however. Washing your hands frequently is your best defense.

There is also a homeopathic remedy called Instant Immunity that you can use to protect yourself against the swine flu. We'll talk more about that in a bit.

What is swine flu treatment? It is basically the same as the treatment for the regular flu. The swine flu facts tell us that most people who get the swine flu actually recover without any treatment. The virus simply runs its course. However, there is treatment available that can speed the recovery process and that can relieve uncomfortable symptoms.

There are antiviral medications like Tamiflu that can speed the recovery process. They work by preventing the virus from replicating itself. They are available by prescription. They can have some side effects, like nausea, vomiting, confusion, other mental status changes, and skin reactions.

There are a number of over-the-counter remedies that relive flu symptoms. For instance, you can take antihistamines for sneezing and a runny nose, throat lozenges for a sore throat, and cough suppressants for a cough. You can also take Tylenol or ibuprofen for fever, headaches, and body aches. Over-the-counter flu remedies can have some side effects, too, like drowsiness and insomnia.

Some people prefer to use natural products to treat and protect against the flu. Natural products don't carry the same risk of side effects as drugs do, and they are often more effective.

See your doctor in the fall if you want a swine flu vaccine. Ask your doctor about what is swine flu and for the swine flu facts. If you develop flu symptoms, you may want to see your doctor to ask about antiviral medication. You should definitely see a doctor if you have a very high fever, if your flu symptoms last longer than one week, if you have trouble breathing, or if you have any pre-existing conditions.

More than what is swine flu on our main swine influenza page

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