The National Institute of Virology in Pune has confirmed the swine flu virus hasn’t mutated since 2009. Viral sequencing revealed that the strain hadn’t mutated and the virus is still susceptible to Tamiflu tablets. The Rajasthan health department had written to the NIV to figure out if the H1N1/09 virus had mutated and the present medication being used was still useful.
The number of deaths due to swine flu in the country has been the highest in Rajasthan with 62 deaths in January and 13 in February so far. Recently, the state received six lakh tablets from the Centre. In addition, the state has asked for supply of 2,000 swine flu vaccines for medical personnel who are at a higher risk of being infected with the virus.
Simply covering your mouth while sneezing or coughing and/or wearing a mask isn’t enough to protect yourself from the virus. The H1N1 virus is surprisingly resilent and can survive on door knobs, table tops and other contact surfaces for a long time.
Swine flu isn’t a disease that you can catch from pigs. It is in fact, a human virus that spreads from one human to another. The virus is extremely contagious. Here are some swine flu prevention tips:
- It can spread through coughing and sneezing so always cover your face while doing so. And make sure people around you in office or home also follow this.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth too often
- Maintain a high level of personal hygiene. Always wash your hands before or after eating and particularly after returning from a public place.
- Sometimes virus can spread through droplets that have remained on surfaces of things like laptops, phones so avoid using someone else’s items.
- Avoid public places, unhygienic conditions, etc.
- If your city/area is swine-flu endemic, always wear a standard swine flu mask in public places (the H-95 mask which is worn by nurses and doctors while collecting samples from swine flu victims). Normal surgical masks which sell like hot cakes during swine flu season might not give enough protection.
- If you feel sick and look like you are developing a cold or fever, stay at home and take enough rest. Rest has also been shown to increase ‘interferons’ which help our immunity to fight the virus better. Keeping away from others also prevents spread of the infection.
Also read: Swine flu: All you need to know