New flu (swine flu)

What is swine flu?

New flu or swine flu or Mexico flu is a highly contagious viral infection of the respiratory tract. She became known as swine flu or swine influenza. But the virus called H1N1, which originated in Mexico, can also attack humans and spread from person to person like a normal flu virus. In June 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the highest warning level of a pandemic (worldwide spread of the virus), in August 2010 the warning level was lowered. Many people are immune to infection or vaccination. In the future, virus strain A (H1N1) 2009 will, like many other influenza viruses, recur seasonally (PEI 2010).

Why is it called Swine Flu?

New flu was originally called swine flu because it showed great genetic similarity to a virus found in pigs in North America in laboratory tests. But then the researchers found that there are also very big differences. It has two genetic flu virus traits that are usually rampant among pigs in Europe and Asia, as well as aviare (affecting birds) and human (human) genes. Scientists call this a ""four-fold reassortment,"" which means that the virus is composed of four different genetic components.

Is there a vaccine against the virus?

Various vaccines have been approved since the virus first appeared. Antigens against the circulating virus strain are included in the current flu vaccines.

If you have an otherwise healthy child, the Robert Koch Institute, unlike many other countries, does not specifically recommend vaccination. There, the recommendation is to vaccinate all children and adolescents from the age of six months, as the children are responsible for spreading the virus the most (kindergarten, school, etc. - wherever there are many people together). No vaccine is approved for children under six months (RKI FAQ 2011). It is recommended that pregnant women be vaccinated against seasonal influenza, as the pandemic has shown that complications and serious illnesses occur more frequently than average during influenza during pregnancy. In addition, the flu vaccine can also protect the baby from the virus in its first six months of life. Healthy pregnant women should be vaccinated only from the 2nd trimester on, in chronically ill pregnant women can be vaccinated already in the 1st trimester (RKI FAQ 2011).

heading> What is the risk of infection in Germany?The risk of infection is not the same everywhere. What is the risk at your place of residence, you can look at a map of the working group influenza (AGI). From calendar week (CW) 40 in 2010 to CW 3 in 2011, there were 4658 illnesses.

The good news is that most of the cases in Germany (84 percent) have so far been mild, as a normal flu, so to speak, and did not need to be treated in the hospital (RKI 6/2009 and 1/2011). Nevertheless, the Robert Koch Institute does not exclude that it can also lead to severe cases - 25 patients, all were not vaccinated, died during the period in question of influenza.

Most new cases occurred in groups 0 to 4 years and 5 to 14 years, in all other age groups the values ​​decreased.

How do I recognize the symptoms of swine flu?

The symptoms are very similar to normal flu: fever, fatigue, cough, headache, muscle and joint pain. But there are other symptoms that do not fit in with simple flu, explains dr. Jesús Elías Ovando, pediatric and pulmonary specialist at the Tuxla Gutiérrez Children's Hospital in Chiapas, Mexico: ""There are acute abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting, and the fever is very high."" Influenza patients rarely have a fever of 39 degrees Celsius - with swine flu Adults still have higher fever. ""

Symptoms of"" head flu ""(with a nose and watery eyes) are not very pronounced in swine flu, similar to bird flu."" But it's hard to tell what is normal and what is not, ""warns Ovando,"" so it's important to go to the pediatrician if your child has a high fever or feels very bad. ""

But, as with normal flu, the symptoms can be anytime Individuals can be very different. Sometimes there are only very vague signs, in other cases serious complications occur or in the worst case you die. ""Children under the age of five and the elderly over 65 are at particular risk, parents should be on guard as if they had a normal flu."" explains Dr. Ovando.

Could my child have other symptoms?

In children, fast or heavy breathing indicates respiratory infection, even if your child or baby is irritable, constantly tired or has a fever, You should go to the doctor, which is very likely just a sign of a common cold, but the doctor can tell you exactly, so you should have that clarified for safety.

How does H1N1 spread?

It's spreading the same way as normal flu: via droplet infection, when an infected person coughs or sneezes, the viruses are thrown into the air, so the risk of infection is in busy places n very high.

The viruses spread

not through the enjoyment or preparation of pork. How can I prevent infection?

Within Germany, the risk of infection is still relatively low. However, if you want to be on the safe side, then follow the precautions that protect you from any kind of flu:

Wash your hands regularly and carefully, especially after going to the toilet, before eating, and when you get home. Also use enough soap.

  • If you need to cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue. Throw away the cloth after a single use.
  • If you do not have a handkerchief on hand, you'd rather cough up your sleeve than into your hand to prevent the infection from spreading through shaking hands.
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth - because viruses invade the mucous membranes faster.
  • Avoid big crowds and crowds. Stay home when you can, and prefer to ride a bike instead of a subway.
  • Viruses can survive on surfaces such as door handles and phones for up to two hours. Washing your hands helps against infection.
  • Ventilate regularly. This blows possible viruses out the window and prevents the drying out of your mucous membranes, which they need to defend themselves.
  • Try to avoid shaking hands - it's a pleasure to transmit the virus. Explain to your counterpart why you do not want to shake hands.
  • For more information, visit the website www. we-against viruses. DE

Should I wear a hygiene mask?

A hygiene mask over the mouth and nose, as one knows from Michael Jackson or from hospitals, looks dramatic, but primarily serves to prevent pathogens from being exhaled. Therefore, they are useful for the infected, less than protection from the virus. Whether they are helpful in a pandemic, science does not know and the World Health Organization (WHO) does not recommend these masks for the general population (RKI FAQ 2009).

Could it be that my child's crèche or kindergarten closes because of a flu epidemic?

That can not be ruled out - if cases should pile up in a kindergarten, then it will certainly be closed for a short time. That decides the direction of the day care center. Even if more or more serious cases occur in the future, closing public institutions (eg daycare centers and schools) can help curb the spread.

Read more about sending your child to kindergarten or crèche.

Where can I get more information?

The Robert Koch Institute provides information on seasonal influenza and influenza H1N1 viruses at www. rki. de.

Learn About the Risks of Swine Flu in Pregnancy


Swine Flu: What to do when my baby gets it?

Sources


RKI 1/2011 Influenza (Seasonal Influenza, Influenza A (H1N1) 2009, Avian Influenza).

RKI Guide Infectious Diseases - Fact Sheets for Doctors

www. rki. de [as of 24. 01. 2011]

RKI 6/2009. Robert Koch Institute ""New Influenza A / H1N1 in Germany Assessment of the Current Events"" in Epidemiological Bulletin 25/2009

RKI FAQ 2011. Robert Koch Institute: ""Frequently Asked Questions about the New Influenza""

www. rki. de [Status 274. 01. 2011] also as PDF, 139 KB

Epidemiological Bulletin 25/2009 (PDF, 92 KB) [Status 27. 07. 2009]

PM RKI 2009. Press release of Robert Koch Institute: ""New flu detected in Germany for the first time"", published on 29. 04. 2009

RKI & BMI. ""Questions and answers by the Federal Ministry of Health and the Robert Koch Institute on human swine flu""

www. rki. de [As of 07. 05. 2009]

Hygiene tips from the Robert Koch Institute in cooperation with the Federal Center for Health Education at www. we-against viruses. DE

CDC 2009. ""Questions & Answers: H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) and You"" Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 05. 05. 2009

www. cdc. gov

[as of 7/7/2009]

PEI 2010. Paul Ehrlich Institute: ""Downgrading of Pandemic Warning Level 6 by WHO"" Paul Ehrlich Institute. [As of 24. 1. 2011]

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