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Causes of swine flu

Uncover the origins and spread of swine flu as we delve into its causes, symptoms, and prevention measures in this informative article.

  • 06 Oct 2023
  • 3 min read

Swine flu, caused by the H1N1 virus or Influenza A, is a highly contagious type of influenza that can be potentially life-threatening in extreme cases. It is particularly dangerous for young children and those who are immunocompromised due to other illnesses or age. As with any pandemic, it’s important to understand what the causes are so that appropriate precautions may be taken to reduce infection risk or severity. In this article, we will explore some of the possible causes of swine flu and how you can protect your health during an epidemic.


How is Swine Flu Caused?

Swine flu infects the cell lining the nose, throat and lungs. The virus spreads when a person coughs, sneezes, breathes or talks and releases droplets in the air which get spread when a person inhales the virus and it can also enter the body if a person touches a virus- contaminated surface and then directly touches their own eyes, nose or mouth. Contrary to popular belief, a person cannot catch this type of flu from eating pork. People with the virus are able to spread the virus even before the day when their symptoms appear until about four days after they start. Swine flu is caused by other factors responsible for the spread of the virus which include:

  • Age: The cases of Influenza virus tend to have worse outcomes in children under age 2 and people older than age 65.
  • Living or working conditions: People who live or work in health-related facilities like hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, dental care and diagnostic centres are more likely to get the flu.
  • Weakened immune system: Anyone with a weak immune systems due to cancer treatments, anti-rejection medications, long-term use of steroids, organ transplants, blood cancer or HIV can weaken the immune system which makes a person more prone to catch swine flu and may increase the chances of developing complications.
  • Chronic illnesses: Chronic conditions may increase the chances of developing the influenza virus-related flu. Certain conditions include asthma and other lung diseases, diabetes, heart disease, nervous system diseases, metabolic disorders, and problems with the airway and kidney, liver or blood disease.
  • Aspirin use under age 19: If people below the age of 19 years are taking long-term aspirin therapy are at risk of developing Reye syndrome when infected with this virus.
  • Pregnancy: Pregnant people are more prone to develop swine flu complications, especially in the second and third trimesters because during that time immune system tends to be weak and may increase the risk for the baby after birth.
  • Obesity: individuals with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher have a greater chance of acquiring flu complications and another related disease as their metabolism slows down with a gain in weight

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In conclusion, swine flu is a contagious infection that can affect anyone regardless of age. While it’s typically less serious for healthy individuals, older people and people with weakened immunity may develop more severe symptoms. Vaccinations and improved cleaning practices, as well as general hygiene habits like regular handwashing, help lower the risk of contracting and spreading the viral infection too. For those looking to protect themselves from swine flu, staying knowledgeable about current facts concerning the disease such as the causes of swine flu can help prevent unnecessary panic and protect against any possible health threats. Also, ensure that you have a health insurance plan in place to safeguard yourself against any financial stress. 

Disclaimer: The above blog aims to provide general information about health and related topics. Any information provided in this blog, website or in any linked materials is not intended and should not be considered, or used as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is important that you contact your Doctor before starting a new medicine or health regime.

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