Influenza A(H1N1) variant virus

Influenza H1N1 virus

The H1N1 flu, sometimes known as swine flu, is a form of influenza A virus. During 2009-2010, a new H1N1 started causing illness in humans. It was generally known as swine flu and was a new combination of influenza viruses that infect birds, pigs, and humans.

The WHO (World Health Organization) declared the H1N1 flu to be a pandemic in 2009. Around 284,400 people died globally as a result of the virus that year. In August 2010, WHO [World health of Organization] declared the pandemic over. However, the H1N1 flu strain from the pandemic became one of the strains that produce seasonal flu.

The majority of flu patients recover on their own. However, flu can be fatal, especially if complications arise in high-risk people. The seasonal flu vaccine may now help defend against the H1N1 flu and other occasional flu viruses.

Symptoms of Influenza A (H1N1)

The symptoms of flu caused by H1N1, generally known as the swine flu, are the same as those of other flu viruses.

Symptoms mainly start quickly and may include-

  • Aching muscles, cough
  • Sweats and chills
  • Sore throat, eye pain
  • Weakness and tiredness
  • Body aches, vomiting, feeling sick to the stomach

It takes one to four days following viral exposure for flu symptoms to appear.

When to see a healthcare expert

If you have emergency signs of the flu, get urgent medical help immediately. For adults, emergency symptoms may include

  • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
  • Ongoing dizziness, seizures
  • Sins of dehydration
  • Muscle pain or severe weakness
  • Existing or worsening medical conditions
  • Emergency symptoms in kids may include
  • Dehydration, chest pain
  • Trouble breathing
  • Severe muscle pain
  • Gray, pale, or blue-colored skin

Causes of Influenza A (H1N1)

Influenza viruses such as H1N1 generally infect the cells that line your throat, nose, and lungs. Droplets of the virus are discharged into the air when an infected person coughs, breathes, sneezes, or speaks. The viruses enter your body when you breathe in infected droplets. It may also enter your body by contact with your mouth, nose, or eyes after coming into contact with a contaminated surface.

You cannot catch swine flu from consuming pork. Individuals who have the virus are probably contagious for four days after symptoms begin to show up or from a day before they do. People and kids with weakened immune systems can be able to spread the virus for a little longer time.

Risk factors

Factors that may enhance your chance of spreading H1N1 or other influenza viruses or their major complications include-

Age- Children under the age of two and people over the age of 65 typically have worse outcomes from influenza.

Working or living conditions- People who work or live in facilities with many other residents are more susceptible to getting the flu. A few examples are military barracks or nursing homes. People who are staying in the hospitable are also at increased risk. 

Weakened immune system- Anti-rejection medications, long-term use of steroids, cancer treatments, AIDS/HIV, or blood cancer may weaken the immune system. It may make it easier to catch the flu and can enhance the chance of developing complications.

Chronic illnesses- The risk of complications from influenza may increase in chronic diseases. Diabetes, heart disease, neurological system disorders, asthma, and other lung conditions are a few examples. Additional examples include liver or blood diseases, respiratory issues, and kidney and airway problems.

Pregnancy- Pregent individuals are more likely to create influenza complications, mainly in the second and third trimesters.

Obesity- A person is more likely to experience flu-related problems if their body mass index (BMI) is 40 or above.

Complications of Influenza A (H1N1)

  • Influenza complications include-
  • Pneumonia, bronchitis
  • Bacterial infections
  • Muscle tenderness


The CDC recommends annual flu vaccination for everyone six months old or more. The influenza H1N1 virus is included in the seasonal flu vaccine.

The flu vaccine may lower your chance of getting the flu. It also may lower the chance of having severe illness from the flu and needing to stay in the hospital.

Flu vaccination is mainly helpful as the flu and coronavirus disease 2019 cause the same symptoms.

There are two forms of the flu vaccine: an injection and a nasal spray. The nasal spray is mainly approved for those between 2 and 49 years old. It is not advised for some groups, including:

  • Children below two years old
  • Adults 50 years old and more
  • Pregnant ladies
  • People with weakened immune systems
  • Children 2-4 years old who have had wheezing or asthma in the previous 12 months.

These measures are also helpful for preventing the flu and limiting its spread-

Clean your hands- If possible, use water and soap, cleaning for at least 20 seconds. You may also use an alcohol-based handwash/sanitizer that has at least 60 percent alcohol.

Do not touch your face- You should avoid touching your nose, eyes, and mouth. 

Disinfect and clean surfaces- To stop the virus from entering your body through surfaces you touch frequently, you should clean them on a regular basis.

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