Table of contents:
- Symptoms of H1N1
- How the transmission happens
- How to confirm the diagnosis
- Treatment for H1N1
- How to prevent
- Possible complications
H1N1 flu, also known as swine flu, is a viral disease caused by the H1N1 virus, which can be easily transmitted from person to person through droplets released into the air when a person with the flu coughs or sneezes.
The H1N1 virus is a subtype of the influenza A virus and affects the respiratory system, leading to symptoms such as fever, chills, a runny or stuffy nose, or loss of appetite.
The diagnosis of H1N1 flu is made by the general practitioner, pulmonologist or infectious disease specialist, and the treatment depends on the severity of the symptoms. histamines or antivirals.
Symptoms of H1N1
H1N1 flu symptoms are similar to infections caused by other influenza A virus subtypes and usually appear 1 to 3 days after infection with the H1N1 virus, the main ones being:
- Sore throat;
- Runny or stuffy nose;
- Shortness of breath;
- Body pain;
- Red or watery eyes;
- Loss of appetite;
- General malaise.
In addition, diarrhea and vomiting can also occur, especially in children and the elderly, which can cause dehydration, which can be perceived through symptoms such as severe headache, tiredness, intense thirst, dry mouth and little urine. Check out other symptoms of H1N1.
How the transmission happens
The H1N1 virus is highly contagious, being transmitted through direct contact with infected people or through inhalation of droplets of saliva or nasal secretions released when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
In addition, transmission can also occur by touching a surface contaminated by the H1N1 virus and touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
How to confirm the diagnosis
The diagnosis of H1N1 flu is made by a general practitioner, infectious disease specialist or pulmonologist through the analysis of symptoms. In some cases, laboratory tests may also be indicated to identify the virus responsible for the symptoms.
When confirming H1N1 infection, the doctor can indicate the most appropriate treatment, which depends on the severity of the symptoms presented.
Treatment for H1N1
The treatment of H1N1 flu depends on the severity of the symptoms, and it is usually recommended to increase your fluid intake to avoid dehydration, rest and eat a light and easily digestible diet.
In some cases, the doctor may recommend treatment with drugs such as:
- Anti-inflammatories or pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, to lower fever and relieve body pain or headache;
- Antihistamines, such as loratadine, to relieve nasal congestion;
- Antivirals, such as zanamivir, oseltamivir, or peramivir, to slow the rate of virus multiplication, reduce the severity of symptoms, and prevent complications. These remedies are usually indicated to be started within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms.
Furthermore, it is important that during the treatment of H1N1 flu, the person remains in isolation for about 5 days to avoid transmission to other people. Understand how the flu is treated.
In severe cases, hospitalization and treatment with saline applied directly into the vein, use of antibiotics, or even non-invasive mechanical ventilation or ECMO may be necessary.
How to prevent
To prevent infection by the H1N1 virus, it is recommended that the person with flu-like symptoms remains in isolation for 5 days, so that it is possible to prevent the transmission of the virus to other people.
In addition, it is recommended to avoid being in closed places or with many people, wash your hands regularly and apply alcohol gel frequently, wear a face mask and always cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing.
The flu vaccine is another recommended form of prevention, as it is able to protect the body against the most common flu viruses, such as H1N1, H3N2 and Influenza B. This vaccine is indicated for all people, but mainly for the elderly, children, he alth professionals and people with comorbidities.See more about the flu vaccine.
The main complications of H1N1 influenza are dehydration, viral or bacterial pneumonia, hemorrhagic bronchitis, acute respiratory distress syndrome, or respiratory arrest.
These complications are more common in pregnant women or people who have other conditions such as COPD, bronchial asthma, diabetes, autoimmune or heart diseases, or who are being treated for cancer.