Swine Flu Treatment in Gatlinburg, TN
Do you have flulike symptoms such as coughing, chest pain, headache, body aches, and fatigue? It might be swine flu—also called H1N1—a type of type A influenza.
Though flu is a common illness, H1N1 may cause more severe symptoms than other strains, so getting in contact with a medical professional is always a great idea.
What are the symptoms of swine flu?
The incubation period for the disease is about one to four days. After this period, symptoms of the swine flu virus can include:
- sore throat
- stuffy or runny nose
- body aches
- nausea and vomiting
Complications of swine flu can include pneumonia, lung infection, and other breathing problems. Get emergency medical attention right away if you experience:
- shortness of breath
- severe vomiting
- abdominal pain
What causes swine flu?
The swine flu virus originates in pigs, which is why contact with infected pigs is the easiest way of catching the virus. In fact, the disease spreading to humans is rare.
Swine flu is contagious about one day before symptoms develop to about five to seven days after symptoms develop. Children can be contagious for up to 10 days after symptoms develop. When you sneeze or cough, you spread the virus through the air, and the cycle of infection and contagiousness continues.
Your risk of becoming infected with swine flu increases if you are:
- employed in the pork industry
- of Native American descent
- a child 6 month to 4 years old
- 50 years of age or older
- A chronic pulmonary or cardiovascular patient
- managing conditions that weaken your immune system (immunosuppression)
- a teenager receiving long-term aspirin therapy
- morbidly obese with a body-mass index is 40 or greater
- a healthcare professional, preschool or kindergarten teacher, or assisted or senior living staff member
How is swine flu diagnosed?
To diagnose the swine flu, your healthcare provider will first ask you about your symptoms and take them into context of the current flu season. Your physician will then take a swab culture from your nose and around the back of your throat. This culture is sent to a lab so swine flu virus can be identified or ruled out.
How is swine flu treated?
While the swine flu typically resolves on its own after 3-7 days, symptoms can persist for up to two weeks. Medications that can treat the symptoms of the infection include adamantanes like amantadine and rimantadine and medications that inhibit the influenza neuraminidase protein like Rapivab, Tamiflu, and Relenza. Over-the-counter pain medications can also help relieve the symptoms like aches and fever. Do not give aspirin to children under 18 years old.
If you are infected with swine flu, ways that you can prevent the spread of the virus include:
- limiting contact with others by staying home from work or school
- washing your hands and face regularly with soap and water
- covering your mouth with a tissue or arm when coughing or sneezing
- keeping your environment clean and tidy, putting discarded tissues in the trash, and wiping down all surfaces
Though vaccination has been an efficient tool against influenza A viruses, swine flu and H1N1 flu vaccine a recent study published in Clinical and Experimental Vaccine Research concludes: “Every vaccine developed and under development has its pros and cons and there is no absolute vaccine that can be applied to every host and condition effectively at the best performance.”
The flu shot is made from dead virus particles that are meant to stimulate your immune system to create antibodies in response to the virus particles. You should not receive the injection if you have an egg allergy.
CDC revealed that the 2014-2015 influenza vaccine had an efficacy rate of only 19 percent. The CDC's committee that advises on immunization practices announced that nasal spray flu vaccines should not be used in the 2016-2017 flu season because, in the CDC's own words, "no protective benefit could be measured" from taking them.
In a peer-reviewed study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases in March 2016, a team of Canadian researchers found that people who were vaccinated against the flu three years in a row were actually at higher risk of being infected with the flu.
Temporary side effects of the injected version of the vaccine include:
- soreness, redness, or minor swelling at the injection site
- muscle aches
- low grade fever
How can I protect my immune system from swine flu?
Good ways to protect yourself from swine influenza is by: washing your hands throughout the day with soap and water, not touching your eyes, nose, or mouth, avoiding sick people, getting plenty or rest, exercising, drinking plenty of fluids, and eating a balanced diet.
Other preventative measures include immune system protectors like Vitamin C (ascorbate): Like antiviral pharmaceuticals such as Tamiflu (oseltamivir), vitamin C has been shown in studies to inhibit neuraminidase, which is produced by viruses and enables them to replicate.
Other immune system boosters include:
- zinc: in food, supplement, or lozenge form
- probiotics: show to stimulate immune function, but determining custom type and amount require experimentation
- North American ginseng: may reduce risk of developing influenza
- echinacea purpurea:
Reserve Your Appointment Now
Each year, the flu (including swine flu) presents a serious health risk. If you’re feeling flulike symptoms speak with a specialist today in Gatlinburg by calling (423) 482-8711 or contact Dr. Dalal Akoury online.
AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center
Address1604 Lamons Lane
Johnson City, TN 37604
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tue: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wed: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thu: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Fri: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm