Swine Flu

Dr. Nabi Darya Vali (AIIMS)MBBS

January 10, 2019

March 06, 2020

Swine Flu
Swine Flu

What is swine flu?

Swine flu is a type of virus that typically affects pigs but caused a global outbreak in humans too.

It is also known as the H1N1 virus and is a type of influenza virus.

What are its main signs and symptoms?

What are the main causes?

  • The H1N1 virus infection is called swine flu because it is similar to the virus that affects pigs. The virus has strains that affect humans, birds and swine.
  • The virus is transmitted amongst animals due to breathing in the air containing the virus.
  • It affects humans when they contract the virus through breathing air containing the virus.
  • This means that poultry workers are at high risk of contracting swine flu.
  • When a pandemic outbreak of swine flu was detected, humans were quickly infected since they did not have immunity against the virus.

How is it diagnosed and treated?

  • If you show flu-like symptoms, and if a swine flu outbreak is suspected, your physician will look for swine flu during diagnosis.
  • A diagnostic method for swine flu is to take a swab of the nasal discharge or throat, and examine it microscopically.
  • There are some other molecular tests and rapid influenza diagnostic tests, but they are less specific.


  • Antiviral drugs are given to those who suffer from this viral disease.
  • Hospitalisation and isolation are recommended in most cases, since the virus spreads rapidly.
  • If the virus shows resistance to particular drugs, other types of antiviral medications may have to be given.
  • Vaccines have also been prepared against this virus and are extremely effective. Since the virus spreads like fire between poultry and between humans, vaccination during a pandemic is important especially in children, elderly and pregnant women.


  1. Qi X, Lu C. [Swine influenza virus: evolution mechanism and epidemic characterization--a review]. Wei Sheng Wu Xue Bao. 2009 Sep;49(9):1138-45. PMID: 20030049
  2. National Health Portal [Internet] India; Swine Flu
  3. Center for Disease Control and Prevention [internet], Atlanta (GA): US Department of Health and Human Services; Information on Swine/Variant Influenza
  4. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: US National Library of Medicine; H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu)
  5. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Swine Flu-H1N1 (Seasonal Influenza). Government of India [Internet]

Medicines for Swine Flu

Medicines listed below are available for Swine Flu. Please note that you should not take any medicines without doctor consultation. Taking any medicine without doctor's consultation can cause serious problems.