Swine flu or the H1N1 virus is a fairly new strain of influenza that causes symptoms similar to those of regular flu. The condition was coined swine flu because, historically, people who caught it had direct contact with pigs. These days, however, it is primarily spread directly between humans. In 2009, swine flu became known worldwide when experts discovered it was spreading between humans. The World Health Organization declared it a pandemic, and it ultimately killed more than 17,000 people. Now that an effective vaccine is available, swine flu is one more basic flu virus that spreads like a normal, seasonal flu.
The symptoms of swine flu are similar to the regular seasonal flu and include coughing, sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, fever, lethargy, and lack of appetite. Some people also report eye irritation, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Symptoms generally develop one to three days after contact with the virus. As with the regular flu, swine flu can become dangerous when it leads to more serious health problems such as lung infections and pneumonia. People with existing conditions such as heart disease or diabetes can encounter more severe complications.
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