How to Understand Swine Flu
Swine Influenza also known as the hog flu, pig flu, and swine flu is an influenza that is caused by the strains of the influenza virus that affects pigs. It is very common for pigs in the Midwestern United States, Mexico, South America, Canada, Europe, China, Kenya, Japan, Taiwan, and other eastern Asia area to have this influenza virus.
Swine flu seen in pigs can be transmitted to humans by direct contact with poultry or swine that are infected with the virus. All individuals that are exposed to pigs for long periods of time can become infected with zoonotic infection, which in most cases occurs with individuals during animal transport. In most cases, the virus between pigs could be caused due to intensive farming where there are several pigs living together in a small areas.
The swine flu is not only found among pigs, but this strain of flu can also infect birds and humans. The pigs are a great host for the virus in which the genes of the pig can help the virus to produce new and even dangerous strains of influenza, such as the H1N1 Flu we are seeing today. The H1N1 Flu is not actually the swine flu but a new strain that was morphed from the original swine flu.
Signs and symptoms of swine flu in pigs
Pigs with swine flu will have signs including sneezing, coughing, fever, lethargy, problems breathing, and will not eat well. In many cases, the virus can bring on miscarriages in pregnant pigs. The weight loss is extreme with most pigs losing 12 pounds in 3 to 4 weeks. Death among pigs with swine flu is low with only about 1 to 4 percent dying; however, growth and weight loss is a dire problem.
Signs and symptoms of swine flu in humans The symptoms of swine flu in humans is very similar to other influenza viruses including fever, sore throat, cough, body aches, fatigue, headaches, and chills. In most cases, the swine flu among humans does not present severe symptoms and many patients never visit the doctor and recover. In order for humans to contract the swine flu they must have been in direct contact with an infected pig or one that is carrying the virus or in direct contact with a person that has contracted the virus.