"Swine flu" is a conditional illness in humans and animals that is caused by strains of the influenza virus. The disease got its name because of its initial widespread distribution among pigs.
Humanity heard about a wave of this new type of flu in 2009. The disease is common among domestic animals in South and North America, Europe, and parts of Asia.
The virus, rotating in the environment of animals, birds and people, gradually mutates, acquiring new features. This epidemic followed the wave of bird flu and sparked a new wave of panic.
Some countries immediately restricted the import of imported pork. However, as is usually the case, most people, feeding on rumors, have little idea of the real possibilities of the epidemic. Let's try to understand the myths about swine flu.
This is the first swine flu. The flu itself is an avian infection. The virus cannot directly adapt to the human body; pigs always become an intermediate link for the mutation of the virus. So all the global flu epidemics, in fact, came to humans from pigs.
A real swine flu epidemic is already raging in the world. The first notes about the epidemic said it was not. The World Health Organization released data according to which the H1N1 virus strain (which causes the disease) is still only "potentially pandemic". WHO is closely monitoring the situation, paying particular attention to the main focus - Mexico. However, then the level of the epidemic did not exceed the 3rd level, although its further development was unpredictable. On June 11, 2009, WHO assigned the 6th threat level out of 6 possible. So the statement about the worldwide spread of the disease quickly became true.
By all indications, this epidemic bears the features of a global catastrophe. In the 20th century, the most striking pandemics were the Spanish flu, the Asian flu and the Hong Kong flu. And if the first of them in 1918-1919 killed more than 40 million people, then the number of victims of Asian pandemics was already ten times less. So, the swine flu will be a serious test for health systems, trade, tourism, but there will certainly not be a global catastrophe.
This virus strain is the most dangerous. Observations and statistics suggest that the H5N1 avian influenza virus was more deadly, although swine flu is spreading much faster. H1N1 affects more young and healthy people with strong immune systems than older people with weakened defenses. The overwhelming majority of sick people generally recover on their own.
The outbreak can no longer be stopped. It's true. The virus has long left Mexico, spreading throughout the planet, acquiring the character of a pandemic.
Swine flu has special symptoms. This is a common misconception. Patients have symptoms of common flu - fever, lethargy, coughing, sneezing, poor appetite.
There is a vaccine for swine flu. Amantadine, Zanamivir, Oseltamivir and Rimantadine have been shown to be effective against the disease. It is highly undesirable to take aspirin for treatment, as it can cause complications. Of course, it is better to take them immediately after the onset of symptoms, and the vaccine stocks are sufficient even for third world countries. The virus mutation, called A / H1N1, is much more dangerous. Existing medicines can only alleviate the course of the disease. And further mutation of the virus can leave already developed drugs "out of work".
Seasonal vaccinations can help. This is not true, you should not rely on this means. The existing influenza vaccines, which are changed every year, provide minimal protection against this strain.
Scientists will soon develop a new vaccine that will finally defeat the virus. A thorough study of the virus is now underway. The possibilities for the development and further distribution of the vaccine are rather limited. However, there is hope that the second wave of the epidemic will already be stopped. True, there is a risk that by throwing all their strength into the production of a new vaccine, manufacturers may suspend the development of existing drugs that are already saving human lives.
While in Mexico, you are bound to get sick with swine flu. Mexico is a popular country for tourists. The outbreak of the epidemic forced people to avoid this country. Once there, do not be alarmed. It is enough to follow the basic methods of cleanliness. You should not be in crowded places, communicate with a large number of people. Hands should be washed several times a day, to limit touching the mouth and nose. Change hygiene items more often - especially handkerchiefs. There is no need to wear a protective mask all the time.
We need to stop eating pork. There is no danger in eating well-cooked meat. You can only get infected from half-baked meat of a sick animal. Heat treatment at temperatures above 80 degrees instantly kills the virus. It should be noted that many countries restrict the import of imported meat into the country or tighten control over its quality.