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Swine flu 15 times more lethal than Indians thought: Study
Swine flu, the curse of 21st century was the most aggressive pandemic, which was underestimated by Indians. A study conducted by US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta with the help of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), says that the deaths caused by the pandemic flu in 2009-10 could be 15 times higher than the number of laboratory-confirmed deaths.

SWINE FLU is also known as pig flu because it is caused by a virus which pigs can get. It is a contagious respiratory disease, and is easily transmissible from one person to another. The flu outbreak was first determined in Mexico, and on 10th August 2010, it was announced that the pandemic was officially over by World Health Organization (WHO).

Swine flu symptoms are very similar to the normal influenza symptoms, which includes fever (more than 100 F), cold, cough, nausea, vomiting, headache and diarrhea. In extreme conditions it affects the respiratory system severely and the patient needs an immediate respiratory support, this may lead to pneumonia and seizures. This infection of the lungs progressively changes to secondary bacterial infection, which often causes death.

Swine flu was diagnosed for its probability by a simple nasopharyngeal swab sample test, which provides the information, whether the patient is infected with influenza A or B or not. But the accuracy of the test was questioned by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and they have suggested a new test for diagnosis of swine flu. The new test for diagnosis of swine flu is done by identifying the antigens associated with the virus type, but this test is only available in specialized laboratories and is not done by all the doctors. However, all the doctors can send the specimens to these specialized laboratories if needed, as reported in medicinenet.

The swine flu treatment can be effectively done by two antiviral agents namely zanamivir (Relenza) and oseltamivir (Tamiflu), these medications can be used within 48 hours of occurrence of the flu and should not be used after 48 hours. Sometimes hospitalization is required and the patient may require supportive measures like ventilation support. But as we know 'prevention is better than cure', so the best treatment for swine flu is prevention by vaccines. The people with high risk towards swine flu should be vaccinated against H1N1 flu, the high risk groups includes elderly people and pregnant women.

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