Most of America is concerned about the effects of Swine Flu especially since this strain of flu can be fatal. However, people with respiratory problems are even more concerned as they already have weakened immune systems and trouble with breathing and carrying oxygen to the lungs. Therefore, it is so very important that people with respiratory conditions such as Swine Flu; learn about this menacing influenza and how it can affect their condition. Here are some basic facts provided by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology.
The Center for Disease Control maintains that Swine Flu is a common respiratory virus, which normally is limited to pigs. However, the virus has mutated and has entered the human population, being spread from person to person through the process of breathing in the airdrops exhaled by infected individuals. You can also come into contact with the disease from touching contaminated surfaces, such as telephones, and bathroom doorknobs.
First of all, the most common flu vaccine is ineffective on Swine Flu. Swine flu like any other virus of this kind will attack the respiratory system. What this does is not only make some healthy individuals sick, it will also worsen the symptoms of asthma sufferers and bring on asthmatic attacks.
It is important to know that people with asthma and other respiratory infections or conditions are at a higher risk for developing complications from swine flu or any other flu. It is also important to know what these symptoms are so that they can be addressed immediately. It is also important to relax as extra stress and panic will only make the symptoms worst.
Swine flu infects the cells in the nose, throat and the mouth. It mostly takes 3-5 days after being in contact with the virus to notice the symptoms. Though being cautious is utmost important, the Mayo Clinic also reports that 98 percent of all cases are mild to moderate and therefore, there is no reason as an asthma sufferer to lock yourself in your home and hibernate until the flu season is over.
You will however have to contact your doctor to be on the safe side. Contact your physician or medical center if you experience: fever, coughing, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue, diarrhea or vomiting after you suspect you have been in contact with the virus.
It is important that you see your own physician or asthma specialist. There will be too many people already crowding up the emergency rooms. You don’t want to make the emergency situation worst. Nor do you want to take up more of your time waiting around in emergency rooms than is absolutely necessary.
You should also follow the Asthma Action Plan, which your physician has prepared for you.
Make sure you are taking your asthma controller medications and follow these precautions.
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you sneeze or cough.
Get rid of the tissue right away, through it in the garbage and seal the garbage.
Frequently wash your hands with soap and water, or you can use the alcohol-based hand cleaners if you like.
Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth, more than necessary, as viruses are easily transferred that way.
Try to stay away from sick people if possible, or at least try not to be in close contact with them.
If you are infected by the flu stay home from work or school and try to stay away from other people in order not to infect them.
Try as best you can to stay in good health
Make sure you get plenty of sleep
Get in some good exercise
Drink lots of fluids
Eat nutritious meals
Only about 2 percent of people infected with swine flu or any other flu will develop complications, so try not to worry in advance, stress will only worsen your asthma symptoms.
There is no treatment for the influenza virus, but if you reach your doctor within the first 48 hours he will prescribe Tamiflu or Relenza to weaken the symptoms and it may even relieve them altogether. Tamiflu is considered safe for asthmatics.
You may also need some breathing exercises to help control your breathing and your doctor may recommend other therapies or medications as well.