Swine Flu Treatment
If you suspect that you have the respiratory infection known as swine flu, here are your swine flu treatment options. Swine flu is caused by an influenza virus that was first recognized in the spring of 2009. Also called the H1N1 flu, swine flu spreads quickly and easily.
Technically, “swine flu” refers to the influenza virus in pigs. However, you cannot catch the flu from eating pork. Rather, pigs will occasionally pass the virus on to people, such as hog farmers and veterinarians. Rarely, an infected person may transmit the virus to another person. Here are the typical treatments for swine flu.
Items Needed To Treat Swine Flu
- Liquids, such as water and sports drinks
- Over-the-counter pain relievers
- Anti-inflammatory medication (if needed)
- Antiviral medication (if needed)
- Swine flu vaccination (recommended for prevention)
Typical Ways To Treat Swine Flu
- Flu Symptom Relief. Generally, as with most influenza cases, no treatment is needed for the H1N1 flu. More often, swine flu is treated with symptom relief. This includes rest and sleep, plenty of liquids to prevent dehydration, and over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Aspirin is not advised, especially for children and teens, because of the risk for Reye’s syndrome (a rare, but potentially fatal disease).
- Anti-inflammatory Medication. If you have chronic respiratory disease, your doctor may prescribe an anti-inflammatory medication to decrease inflammation and open your airways. Such prescriptions include inhaled steroids, oral steroids, and inhaled non-steroids. These drugs can help clear lung secretions so you can breathe a little easier.
- Antiviral Medication. Although flu viruses can develop a resistance to antiviral drugs, your doctor may prescribe antiviral medication to reduce the severity of your swine flu symptoms. However, antiviral drugs (such as oseltamivir and zanamivir) are usually reserved for the people most at risk for swine flu complications. High-risk groups include children, senior adults, pregnant women, hospitalized patients, and people with certain chronic conditions.
- Hospitalization And Medical Attention. Swine flu complications may require hospitalization and medical attention. Influenza complications include pneumonia, respiratory failure, and worsening chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease.
Tips and Warnings:
- To prevent swine flu, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend flu vaccinations for anyone older than six months of age. The swine flu vaccine is one component of the seasonal flu shot recommended for all Americans. The vaccine is available in two forms--injection (a shot) and nasal spray.
- Other ways to prevent swine flu and limit its spread include frequently washing your hands, containing your coughs and sneezes, avoiding crowds during flu season, and staying home from work or school when you are sick.