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Swine Flu
Influenza A (H1N1) virus is a subtype of influenza A virus and was the most common cause of human influenza (flu) in 2009. In June 2009, the World Health Organization declared the new strain of swine-origin H1N1 as a pandemic. This strain is often called swine flu by the public media. This novel virus spread worldwide and had caused about 17,000 deaths by the start of 2010.

Swine influenza (also called swine flu, or pig flu) is an infection by any one of several types of swine influenza virus. Swine influenza virus (SIV) is any strain of the influenza family of viruses that is endemic in pigs. As of 2009, the known SIV strains include influenza C and the subtypes of influenza A known as H1N1, H1N2, H3N1, H3N2, and H2N3.

Swine influenza virus is common throughout pig populations worldwide. Transmission of the virus from pigs to humans is not common and does not always lead to human influenza, often resulting only in the production of antibodies in the blood. If transmission does cause human influenza, it is called zoonotic swine flu. People with regular exposure to pigs are at increased risk of swine flu infection. The meat of an infected animal poses no risk of infection when properly cooked.

Symptoms of zoonotic swine flu in humans are similar to those of influenza and of influenza-like illness in general, namely chills, fever, sore throat, muscle pains, severe headache, coughing, weakness and general discomfort. The recommended time of isolation is about five days.

The diet usually prescribed is a high calorie, high protein, low fat, & a high fluid diet.

The first two or 3 days can be more of a fluid diet consisting of soups, glucose water, juices, milk (only if there's no diarrhea).

Give small frequent meals at regular intervals, every 2 hrs which can be gradually increased to every 4 hrs.

Include foods which are soft, bland, easily digested and absorbed like gruels, cereal and milk, soft fruits like banana, papaya, orange, sweet lime, melons etc. soft and mashed khichidi or mashed curd rice or softly boiled veggies can also be included.

Protein intake of the diet should be increased, so it important to provide high nutritive value protein like milk, eggs & daal.

Fatty foods, spicy and highly fibrous foods are difficult to digest and should be avoided.

It is also very important to remember that during fever, there is an increase need of certain nutrients like Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B, Calcium, iron & sodium.

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