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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 71-78

Management of swine flu (H1N1 Flu) outbreak and its treatment guidelines

1 Department of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology, Calcutta School of Tropical Medicine, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
2 Department of Pharmacology, Index Medical College Hospital and Research Centre, Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India
3 Department of Microbiology, Ashwini Rural Medical College Hospital and Research Centre, Solapur, Maharashtra, India
4 Department of Respiratory Medicine and Allergy, Allergy and Asthma Research Centre, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Sukanta Sen
Department of Pharmacology, Index Medical College Hospital and Research Centre, Indore, Madhya Pradesh - 452 016
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2225-6482.166066

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In its strongest resurgence since the pandemic of 2009, the influenza type A virus, known as H1N1, has broken out in different parts of India with deaths surpassing 1000 mark and number of affected cases exceeding 18,000 by the end of February 2015. Swine influenza spreads from person to person, either by inhaling the virus or by touching surfaces contaminated with the virus, then touching the mouth or nose. Symptoms occurring in infected human by H1N1 are like any other flu symptoms. Treatment is largely supportive and consists of bed rest, increased fluid consumption, cough suppressants, antipyretics and analgesics for fever and myalgias. Management largely includes the potential use of antiviral agents for patients presenting with illness due to influenza virus infection. If the illness is known or suspected to be due to a zoonotic influenza A virus, oseltamivir or zanamivir are treatment options. For known or suspected infection with avian influenza H5N1 virus, antiviral treatment should follow the World Health Organization (WHO) rapid advice guidelines on pharmacological management of humans infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza A (H5N1) virus. WHO also recommends vaccination of the high-risk group with seasonal influenza vaccine. Vaccination is recommended for health care workers working in close proximity to influenza patients are at higher risk of acquiring the disease. Since swine flu can directly be transmitted from one person to another through air droplets, people who fail to follow proper hygiene, especially in crowded places are at a high risk of contracting the virus. Proper preventive and control measures thus must be ensured. We have only limited treatment options, so rational use of the antiviral agent is very essential to avoid resistance and future complications. Health education and awareness among citizens should be transferred by proper mechanism.

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