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Recently, human cases of swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection have been reported in several countries. This is a novel influenza a virus that has not been identified in people before, and human-to-human transmission of the virus appears to be ongoing and thus represents a real pandemic threat. WHO has upgraded the phasing of pandemic influenza from Phase -3 to Phase – 5

• Influenza viruses can be directly transmitted from pigs to human being and from human being to pigs.
• Human-to-human transmission of swine flu can also occur. This is thought to occur in the same way as seasonal flu which is mainly person-to person transmission through coughing or sneezing by people infected with the influenza virus.
• Disease spreads very quickly among the population especially in crowded places.
• Cold and dry weather enables the virus to survive longer outside the body than in other conditions and, as a consequence, seasonal epidemics in temperate areas appear in winter.
• Human being may become infected by touching/handling something contaminated with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.
• Swine influenza viruses are not transmitted by food.
• Eating properly handled and cooked pork (at an internal temperature of ≥160°F) and pork products are safe.

Infectious period: The infectious period for a confirmed case of swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection is defined as 1 day prior to the onset of illness to 7 days after onset.


A suspected case of swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection is defined as a person with acute febrile respiratory illness (fever ≥ 380C) with onset.
• Within 7 days of close contact with a person who is a confirmed case of swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection, or
• Within 7 days of travel to areas where there are one or more confirmed swine influenza A(H1N1) cases, or
• Resides in a community where there are one or more confirmed swine influenza cases.

The symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human seasonal influenza like
• Fever (Fever >380C),
• Runny nose,
• Sore throat and
• Cough.

Some people have also reported lethargy, lack of appetite, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.

There is currently no vaccine available against human swine influenza. One has to follow proper hand hygiene and respiratory etiquettes.

Do's and Don'ts:
• Avoid close contact with people who are having respiratory illness or with travel history .
• If possible, stay at home, away from work, school, and public places when you are sick.
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or handkerchief when coughing or sneezing.
• If you have no tissue or handkerchief you should not clean the nose with the hands but with the cuff of your shirt or clothes.
• Washing your hands often with soap or alcohol based hand wash will help protect from germs.
• Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

Persons who develop influenza-like-illness (ILI) (fever with either cough or sore throat) should be strongly encouraged to self isolate in their home for 7 days after the onset of illness or at least 24 hours after symptoms have resolved, whichever is longer.
• Persons who experience ILI and wish to seek medical care should contact their health care providers to report illness (by telephone or other remote means) before seeking care at a clinic, physician's office, or hospital.
• Persons who have difficulty breathing or shortness of breath should seek immediate medical attention and report to the nearby hospital.
• If ill persons must go into the community (e.g., to seek medical care) they should wear a facemask to reduce the risk of spreading the virus in the community.
• If a facemask is unavailable, ill persons needing to go into the community should use a handkerchief or tissues to cover any coughing and sneezing.
• Persons in home isolation and their household members should be given infection control instructions like frequent hand washing with soap and water; use of alcohol-based hand gels (containing at least 60% alcohol).
• When the ill person is within 6 feet of others at home, the ill person should wear a facemask, if available, handkerchief, or tissues.
• Household contacts who are well should:
Remain home at the earliest sign of illness;
Minimize contact in the community to the extent possible;
Designate a single household family member as the ill person's caregiver to minimize interactions with asymptomatic persons.

Social Distancing Interventions:• Large gatherings linked to settings or institutions with laboratory-confirmed cases should be cancelled, for example a school event linked to a school with cases; other large gatherings in the community may not need to be cancelled at this time.
• Additional social distancing measures are currently not recommended.
• Persons with underlying medical conditions who are at high risk for complications of influenza may wish to consider avoiding large gatherings..