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Tamil Nadu swine flu update: 2-year-old dies of swine flu

swine fluDharshini, a girl aged just two and a half years, died of swine flu in Chennai on Saturday. Additionally, the girl had nephrotic syndrome, low levels of protein in the blood along with swelling all over the body. Officials say that the main cause of her death was not the A (H1N1) virus but nephritic syndrome.

The girl was taken to a private hospital on October 21 where she was diagnosed with nephritic syndrome and was prescribed steroids. 'We took her to a private hospital in Chetput on October 21 and the doctors told me that she was suffering from nephrotic syndrome and that she needed steroids.

She was discharged twice from the hospital and when we took her again on November 6, she was given antibiotics. Suddenly, she developed breathlessness and was taken to the ICU. On Saturday night, her condition worsened and doctors advised us to take her to either Ramachandra hospital or Children's hospital in Egmore,', Dharshini's father Senthil Murugan told Deccan Chronicle.

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What is the swine flu virus?

Swine flu is caused due to a zoonotic disease which originally was transmitted from pigs to humans and now spreads from one human to another. The symptoms of swine flu are very similar to regular influenza and include fever, headaches, chills, diarrhoea, coughing and sneezing. One can prevent infection by maintaining basic hygiene and wearing a proper surgical mask during flu season. The number of cases shoots up during the summers and monsoon seasons. There are various vaccines available to combat the disease and antiviral treatments for prevention as well. One should however only use these medicines under a doctor's supervision as indiscriminate use might result in susceptibility to the virus.

Read: Why the swine flu situation in India is bad

Prevention

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

Don't know the symptoms of swine flu? Check out our symptom search to know more about the H1N1 symptoms

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