Swine flu (Influenza A H1N1) was first detected in Mexico on March 2009. Subsequently, it spread throughout the world and it was considered as a Pandemic by WHO (world Health Organization) on 11 June, 2009. The flu showed up again in Turkey in December, 2015. Now, the alarm bells are ringing for Istanbul. On 9th January, Swine flu caused a man's death in Istanbul. The victim Sabri Ö. applied to İstanbul Dr.Lütfi Kırdar Training and Research Hospital for Upper Respiratory Tract Infection and Fever. After his death, two other people applied to hospital for almost same reasons and dead in hospital. Thereby, victims of Swine Flu reached to three, and also there's one person whose treatment is in progress in the same hospital. Therefore, the whole Istanbul is in panic. Authorities are warning citizens against H1N1.
What Swine Flu is?
Flu is a disease of Upper Respiratory Tract caused by a virus (Influenza Virus). Swine Flu is named ‘'Swine'' as it is very similar form of Flu which seen in Swines. In other words, Swine Flu is a viral disease caused from Influenza A. There are some sorts of Influenza Virus which are Influenza A, B, C and also subspecies of Influenza Virus are present such as H1N1 (the virus responsible for Swine Flu), H1N5 (the virus responsible for Bird Flu) and H3N2 (abundant in seasonal influenza). Therefore, we can say that nothing differs from Seasonal Flu and Swine Flu in terms of virus types. Although lots of people afraid of Swine Flu, there isn't any significant difference between seasonal flu and swine flu which makes Swine Flu impossible to treat. Actually, Swine Flu is not a more serious disease than seasonal flu. Swine Flu compose %16 of all Respiratory Tract Diseases caused from a virus. If we compare our data with previous years, we can see that Swine Flu isn't spreading unusually.
Treatment and Protection Ways
Swine Flu is treated in very similar ways as Seasonal Flu is treated. Anti-viral Medications are used in treatment. There isn't any available vaccine for Swine Flu in Turkey (United States, Switzerland and Hungary are the only countries that are using a vaccine for Swine Flu). The vaccines for flu are actually prepared from the previous year's virus. Therefore, you may get sick even if you become vaccinated against flu because viruses usually mutate each year. Being aware of the protective methods are significant in such contagious diseases like Swine Flu. Swine Flu can transmit from both animals to animals and animals to humans. The protection ways can be listed as;
- Because it is transmitted by airway, wearing a mask in public places is crucial.
- Washing hands regularly is also a good preservative way
- Not touching your eyes, nose and mouth if your hands are dirty reduces the transmission risk
The course of disease differs depending on many factors such as age, health condition. Some people suffer from Swine Flu more seriously. Those who are in risk group are listed below;
- Pregnant Women
- People over the age of 50
- Children below the age of 2
- Patients who have Chronic Renal Failure
- Patients who have Chronic Lung Diseases including Asthma
- Patients who have Cardiovascular Diseases including Coronary Artery Diseases
- People who are immune-deficient
- People who have Diabetes
- Obese people
- Healthcare Professionals
- Patients who have Hematologic and Neurologic Diseases
- Patients who have Metabolic Diseases
- Patients who have Liver Diseases
- Patients who are between the age of 6 and 18 and need to use Aspirin for a long while.
Born and raised in Istanbul where I’m a medical student at YeditepeUniversity.