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Swine flu is a disease of pigs that can be passed on to humans. It is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by one of the many Influenza A viruses. Swine flu is also called H1N1 Flu. Though people who caught the disease in the past had had direct contact with pigs, H1N1 can now be spread even among those who have not been near pigs. Most commonly, swine flu is of the H1N1 influenza subtype. However, swine flu viruses can sometimes also come from other subtypes like H1N2, H3N1, and H3N2.
History of Swine flu
Swine influenza was first proposed to be a disease related to human flu during the 1918 flu pandemic when pigs became ill at the same time as humans. On October 1, 1976, immunisation began in the US, and three senior citizens died soon after receiving injections. This resulted in a media outcry that linked these deaths to the immunisation, despite lack of proof that the vaccine was the cause.
In September 1988, a swine flu virus killed one woman and infected others. In 1998, swine flu was found in pigs in four US states. Within a year, it had spread through pig populations across the United States. Scientists found this virus had originated in pigs as a recombinant form of flu strains from birds and humans. This outbreak confirmed that pigs could serve as a crucible where novel influenza viruses emerged as a result of the re-assortment of genes from different strains.
Swine flu cases between 2015 and 2017 in India
Swine flu outbreaks were reported in India in late 2014 and early 2015. By March 2015, the disease had affected 31,151 people and claimed over 1,841 lives. The largest number of reported cases and deaths occurred in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat. More than 1,094 people died of Swine flu in India in 2017 till 26 August of that year.
How can a person catch swine flu?
The same way as the seasonal flu. When people who have it cough or sneeze, they spray tiny drops of the virus into the air. If you come in contact with these drops, touch a surface (like a doorknob or sink) where the drops landed, or touch something an infected person recently touched, you could catch H1N1 swine flu.
People who have it can spread it one day before they have any visible symptoms themselves, and till as many as 7 days after they get sick. Kids can be contagious for as long as 10 days.
Despite what the name might suggest, you cannot catch swine flu from eating bacon, ham, or any other pork product.
What happens if you have swine flu?
Swine flu symptoms are similar to seasonal flu symptoms. They include:
Sore throat
Stuffy or runny nose
Body aches
Is H1N1 / Swine Flu dangerous?
Like the regular flu, swine flu can lead to more serious problems, including pneumonia, a lung infection, and other breathing problems. And it can make an illness like diabetes or asthma worse. Many people have died due to Swine Flu.
Can Swine flu be detected?
Yes. A lab test is the only way to know whether someone is suffering from Swine Flu or seasonal flu.
Can Swine Flu/H1N1 be treated?

Some of the same antiviral drugs that are used to treat seasonal flu also work against H1N1 Swine Flu. However, the person concerned must contact a doctor before taking any medicine. Antibiotics are ineffective because Swine Flu is caused by a virus, not bacteria. The vaccine that protects against seasonal flu can also be used against Swine Flu.