How to reduce the risk of contracting swine flu

How to reduce the risk of contracting swine flu

Here are the common symptoms of swine flu and how to prevent it.

Swine flu
Swine flu/iStock

Cases of swine flu are common during the winter season in South Africa.

According to the government's health website (, swine flu is a respiratory illness caused by the type A flu (H1N1) virus. The National Institute for Communicable Diseases reports that it kills between 6000-11,000 people every year in South Africa.

How is it spread? 

According to the government's health website, swine flu is spread from person-to-person when one inhales droplets that are released by an infected person when she or he coughs or sneezes.

One can also get infected by touching surfaces contaminated with the virus.

Symptoms of swine flu

- Cough

- Fever

- Sore throat

- Stuffy or runny nose

- Body aches

- Headache

- Muscle and joint pain

- Chills

- Fatigue

- Vomiting and diarrhoea

How to prevent swine flu

You can reduce the risk of catching swine flu by: 

- Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you sneeze or cough and then throwing away the tissue so others don’t touch it. 

- Washing your hands thoroughly with soap after using the toilet, changing a child’s nappy, using sanitary towels, caring for the sick, before and after eating, and after blowing one’s nose.

-  Avoid being in close contact with people who might have flu.

- Clean surfaces with tissues, disinfectants, and soap before touching them.

READ: Surprising ways to keep flu away

Image courtesy of iStock/ digicomphoto

Disclaimer: Health-related information provided in this article is not a substitute for medical advice and should not be used to diagnose or treat health problems. It is always advisable to consult with your doctor on any health-related issues.

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