Swine flu or swine influenza is a respiratory infection caused by one of the several strains of viruses from influenza family endemic in pigs. It was initially detected in humans in Mexico, 2009, with the detected strain found to be a mixture of three other strains known to induce the disease. Transmission of the virus doesn’t occur from pigs to humans, and in rare cases when it does happen, it’s known as zoonotic flu. However, pig-herders and abattoir workers with extensive exposure to pigs are at the highest risk of contracting the disease. In India, a total of 31, 156 swine flu cases in humans have been detected as of March 2015 with 1841 of them resulting in death.
Swine flu mostly spreads through contact with an infected person – tiny droplets released into the air while sneezing/coughing; shaking hands or sharing of drinks; or using objects that may have been used by a swine flu patient results in the transmission of the virus. Primary symptoms include fever with chills, coughing, sneezing and anorexia. Though the mortality rate in swine flu is significantly low, patients have been recorded to undergo abdominal pain and vomiting in severe conditions with recurring pulmonary congestion and shortness of breath. Swine flu is treated with antiviral drugs to alleviate symptoms till symptoms completely reside.