H1N1 flu, also known as the swine flu, is a respiratory infection that is caused by H1N1 virus. The following article provides information on the H1N1 incubation period.
H1N1 flu is a viral infection that affects the respiratory tract. The causal organism for the infection is swine influenza A (H1N1) virus, and the first outbreak occurred in 2009. This virus consists of a genetic material which is a combination of human, swine, and avian flu viruses. Swine flu, as the name suggests, refers to an ailment of influenza in pigs.
Although, there are occasional chances of an affected pig passing on the virus to people, it is highly unlikely that someone may also be affected by eating pork. Due to the rapid spreading mechanism of the H1N1 flu, WHO (World Health Organization) enlisted this condition under global pandemics.
Incubation Period for Swine Flu
The incubation period of a condition refers to the period between infection and the appearance of symptoms of the disease. H1N1 incubation period was found to range from 1 – 5 days. Then again, what doctors found in most cases in the United States is that, the period between infection and the appearance of symptoms lasted for 2 – 7 days. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the incubation period might range from 1 to 4 days, with an average of 2 days.
As far as the time during which a person might be infectious to another person is concerned, it begins the day before the onset of the illness and can persist for 5 to 7 days. Particularly young children and people with a weakened immune system might stay infectious for a longer duration. The likelihood of the transmission of the virus to others is the greatest in the first 2 – 3 days of illness, and is believed to be related to the fever. It is believed that the virus is shed in larger amounts when the body temperature is high.
Symptoms that Indicate Swine Flu
The symptoms which are observed in swine flu, are similar to the ones caused by other flu viruses. Fever is what marks the beginning of the onset of the H1N1 flu. This is followed by cough, sore throat, headaches, body aches, etc. To make the condition worse, the virus also triggers chills in the body, fatigue, diarrhea, and vomiting. The symptoms might last for 7 to 10 days.
It’s best to seek medical help, if there’s an outbreak, and one is experiencing the symptoms that are indicative of this infection. Pregnant women or people who are affected by other medical conditions, must seek medical help at the earliest.
Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza) are the commonly prescribed medications which are known to provide relief from symptoms of the H1N1 flu. At home, you can ease your symptoms by increasing your fluid intake. It would be a good idea to drink juice, clear broth, and most importantly, water. Drinking plenty of fluids helps prevent dehydration.
While recovering from H1N1, rest becomes more essential. The more you sleep, the stronger the immune system will be to ward off the infection. Symptoms like fever and aches may be alleviated by taking over-the-counter medications. However, precaution is necessary while giving medications to children.
To conclude, a vaccine has been developed and it is recommended for people depending on their age and overall health condition. People affected by the H1N1 flu must stay at home, in order to prevent any further spread of the disease. It is also essential that you wash your hands regularly, thoroughly and several times a day.
Remember that the H1N1 virus can survive for 2 hours or more on surfaces like those of door knobs, table, etc. Using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is considered to be the best option, when soap and water are not around. Avoid crowded places, and maintain distance from people who have been exhibiting the symptoms of this viral infection.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.