According to data released by the government on Monday, 4 February, there have been 1,011 cases of swine flu (H1N1) in the country's capital, Delhi. There has been a drastic increase in the number of cases which were only reported at 512 till the 31st of January. The city has also seen a major increase in the numbers since last year when 205 H1N1 cases were reported. Swine flu is caused due to a strain of influenza virus that only affects the pigs. When the virus spreads between humans, it can spread rapidly and cause an epidemic. Here is all you need to know about swine flu – its symptoms, risk factors and prevention. Symptoms of Swine Flu (H1N1) The signs and symptoms of swine flu are easy to spot and if any of them are experienced, especially right now when the virus is so widespread, it is recommended to get a check as soon as possible. The symptoms include- Fever – sometimes, but not always A sore throat Fatigue A headache Nausea and vomiting Flu-like symptoms – cold, cough, runny or stuffy nose Watery, red eyes The symptoms are not very specific, other diseases can also show similar symptoms. The symptoms take around 1-3 days to develop fully. Who is at risk of the H1N1 virus? While anyone can get affected by the virus, some people are more at risk. People who are more at risk of contracting the H1N1 virus are - Older people – at the age of 65 or above Pregnant women Children under the age of 5 People with lower immunity – due to diseases like AIDS People with a chronic illness like asthma, diabetes, etc. How can you prevent swine flu? It is important to practice proper prevention measures to avoid contracting the infection. Here is how you can ensure you stay safe - Wear masks – the virus is airborne and can enter your body Avoid close contact with sick people – You can easily contract the virus if you are in close contact with them Drink plenty of water and fluids Avoid public facilities – toilets, basins, etc. Practice more care in closed spaces like aeroplanes – you are more likely to catch an infection in closed cabins. Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a professional healthcare provider if you have any specific questions about any medical matter.
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