What is SWINE FLU?
Swine Influenza (swine flu) is a respiratory disease of
pigs caused by type A influenza virus that regularly
causes outbreaks of influenza in pigs. Swine flu viruses
cause high levels of illness and low death rates in pigs.
Swine flu viruses do not normally infect humans.
However, sporadic human infections with swine flu
have occurred. Most commonly, these cases occur in
persons with direct exposure to pigs
1918 pandemic in humans
1976 U.S. outbreak
1998 US outbreak in swine
2007 Philippine outbreak in swine
2009 outbreak in humans
For the following 60 years, swine influenza strains
were almost exclusively H1N1, later other strains
emerged as a result of reassortment of genes derived
from human, swine and avian viruses.
Swine influenza virus was first isolated from humans
WHY IS H1N1 FLU CALLED SWINE
The H1N1 viral strain implicated in the 2009 pandemic
flu among humans often is called "swine flu virus"
because initial testing showed many of the genes in
the virus were similar to influenza viruses normally
occurring in North American swine.
But further research has shown that the outbreak is
due to a new strain of H1N1 not previously reported in
SWINE FLU & INDIA
Total Confirmed Cases in
Total Deaths in India 138*
Date and Time 08/09/2009
Pandemic Influenza Phases
How did this virus come to INDIA?
The outbreak began in Mexico.
In early June, as the virus spread globally, the WHO
declared the outbreak to be a pandemic, but also
noted that most illnesses were of “moderate severity.”
The virus has since spread to the Southern
Hemisphere which entered its winter flu season, and
to many less developed countries with limited
HOW DOES H1N1 SPREAD?
How severe is illness associated
with 2009 H1N1 flu virus?
Illness with the new H1N1 virus has ranged from mild to
severe. While most people who have been sick have
recovered without needing medical treatment,
hospitalizations and deaths from infection with this virus
In seasonal flu, certain people are at “high risk” of serious
complications. This includes people
65 years and older
children younger than five years old
people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions.
About 70 percent of people who have been
hospitalized with this 2009 H1N1 virus have had one
or more medical conditions previously recognized
as placing people at “high risk” of serious seasonal flu-
related complications. This includes pregnancy,
diabetes, heart disease, asthma and kidney disease.
To diagnose swine influenza A infection, a respiratory
specimen would generally need to be collected within
the first 4 to 5 days of illness (when an infected person
is most likely to be shedding virus).
However, some persons, especially children, may shed
virus for 10 days or longer.
There are four different antiviral drugs that are
licensed for use in the US for the treatment of
While most swine influenza viruses have been
susceptible to all four drugs, the most recent seven
swine influenza viruses isolated from humans are
resistant to amantadine and rimantadine
PRECAUTIONS… Hand Hygiene:
• Hands should be
frequently washed with
soap & water / alcohol
based hand rubs/
antiseptic hand wash.
• This is the single most
important measure to
reduce the risk of
organisms from one person
to the other.
• Cover the nose/mouth
with a handkerchief /
tissue paper when
coughing or sneezing.
• Use tissues to contain
and dispose them off in
nearest waste receptacle
N-95 Masks Use an N95 respirator whenever you are in
close contact with anyone who has or is
suspected to have the swine flu. Close
contact is classified as 6 feet away or less.
The N95 mask fits snugly on the face and
is designed to filter out particles that
contain the virus.
Used respirator masks should
immediately be placed in the garbage to
avoid contact with anything else, thus
Never re-use an N95 respirator mask.
After disposing of the mask, wash hands
in warm, soapy water or use an alcohol
based hand cleaner.
Myths about H1N1
People can catch swine flu from eating pork
Swine influenza viruses are not transmitted by food.
You can not get swine influenza from eating pork or
Flu is fatal
Though the flu is contagious, it is not deadly. A doctor
clarifies, “A lot of people are prone to the flu, but you
will ultimately survive it. The victims would be the
people who have low immunity”.
Mexican food can cause swine flu
Not at all, say the experts. Swine flu is definitely not
caused by food supply, be it Indian or Mexican food.
Face mask is a sure -shot way of protecting oneself
from swine flu
The answer could be a yes and a no at the same time.
Although, one can use a face mask to protect oneself, it
does not give guaranteed protection.
Flu is dangerous just for the elderly
This is one of the biggest myths. Anyone is susceptible, be it
the elderly people or the younger generation, including
The seasonal flu vaccine prevents swine flu
The vaccine for seasonal flu does not protect one against
Popping up Tamiflu prevents H1N1 influenza
Rather, This may be lead to the formation of a resistant and
stronger strain of virus and thus Tamiflu should only be
used under strict supervision.
Worst hit – Tourism Industry
Travel advisories are being issued.
Experts estimate that swine flu scare has cost the
tourism industry upto 30% of its revenues.
Imports and exports
Pork and pork products
Illegal sale of N95 masks – money making
the price of N95 mask ranges from Rs 195- Rs 2500.
MEASURES TO BE ADOPTED
Quarantine and isolation
Entry screening / exit screening
Social distancing measures
Infection control practices
The World Health Organization is
urging the planet to brace for a
second wave of the swine flu
pandemic as the heavily populated
northern hemisphere edges
towards the cooler season when flu
Influenza traditionally surges to its
peak during the northern autumn
and winter. It has spread swiftly
into 177 countries, proving to be
more infectious than seasonal flu
and more durable through warmer
company Novartis AG has
successfully produced a
first batch of swine flu
vaccine weeks ahead of
Three Indian pharma
companies - Serum
Institute of India (Pune),
(Hyderabad) and Panacea
Biotech (New Delhi) - are
working on developing the
Hype or Hazard?
The hype surrounding swine flu is somewhat a mystery. For,
hundreds of thousands of people die from normal seasonal
flu every year.
In India, half-a-million people die of tuberculosis every
year, with pneumonia killing four million children annually.
WHY IS THAT NOT HIGHLIGHTED?
According to Google News, a whopping 24,000 articles
have been produced on swine flu alone in the last one
month. This even surpasses the total number of articles on
STAY CLEAN AND HYGIENIC