In 2009, this disease infected millions of people, now it could be back. This is the Swine Flu. Although we managed to largely avoid it over 10 years ago, there’s now a new strain of the virus. And experts think this new strain has the potential to cause another worldwide pandemic.
How likely is this to happen? What would happen if you caught this disease? And how does this virus compare to COVID-19?
This new strand of H1N1, or swine flu, is known as the G4 virus. It comes from pigs, and has been transferring to humans for a couple of years now. Based on early lab tests, this virus has remnants of the 2009 pandemic as well as the Spanish flu.
Meaning this new strain could possibly cause another worldwide pandemic. So, what would happen if you caught this disease?
Well, one tenth of people in China who work in the pig industry have caught the new swine flu. So if the G4 strain is similar to the original swine flu, here’s what you could expect. If you happened to accidentally touch an infected surface. Or get sneezed on by someone with swine flu, then there’s a chance you could get it. That’s how the disease has spread.
Once the virus enters your body, it might take 1 to 4 days before you really start to notice anything. And the symptoms you do experience might be pretty similar to
something you’ve experienced before.
The first day, you’d likely get a fever and some chills. At one point you’d be sweating, and the next, your entire body might be freezing. This would also be accompanied by muscle aches and general fatigue.
You’ll need to stay away from people as you could easily infect others during this time. After a day or two go by, you could also be met with a cough, runny nose, and some sneezing. During the original swine flu, some patients have also reported having diarrhea, but it didn’t happen to everyone.
At this point, just stay in your bed and rest. Drink lots of water, and do what you can to heal up. The vast majority of people who catch swine flu are most likely to
experience something along these lines. And after a little more than a week, you should be as good as new.
But there is a slight chance that these issues could get worse. If these symptoms last more than a week, you could develop pneumonia or respiratory issues.
If you start to have a tough time breathing, it would be best to contact a doctor or get to a hospital. They’ll be able to give you the medical treatment you need.
It’s quite rare that you’d die from swine flu but not impossible. According to the CDC, over 150,000 people died from it in 2009. This was most likely due to the pneumonia or breathing issues the virus can cause. Or the fact that getting the flu can affect any previous medical issues that people have had.
So we know what to expect if you get it but, could this G4 virus start a new pandemic? Well, according to experts, we shouldn’t be too worried, at least not yet. This G4 strain of the virus has been around for over five years and has yet to severely spread.
Not only that, but it’s only been able to spread from pigs to people rather than through the population. Also, remember that when swine flu was at its peak in
2009, a person who had the disease would only infect an average of less that two people.This is less infectious than COVID-19.
According to recent studies, a person with COVID-19 can infect 5 to 6 people. Not only that, but dealing with swine flu is supposed to be a lot easier to deal with than COVID-19 since the virus is more similar to things we’ve had in our system before. COVID-19 is so dangerous because it’s something humans have never experienced.
That being said, we probably shouldn’t just brush this off. But what can we do to avoid this virus and all other viruses’? The best thing you can do is wash your hands often, don’t touch your face, and practice social distancing.
And while you’re at it, would you wear a mask? Please?
- “CDC H1N1 Flu | H1N1 Flu And You”. 2020. cdc.gov.
- “New swine flu strain has ‘hallmarks of a candidate pandemic virus:’ study”. Citynews Edmonton.
- “Key Facts About Swine Influenza (Swine Flu) In Pigs | CDC”. 2020. cdc.gov.
- “Swine Flu Symptoms – What Is Swine Flu – H1N1 Influenza A – Swine Flu Treatment”. Webmd.
- “H1N1 Influenza (Swine Flu)”. Statpearls Publishing.
- “What Is R0? Gauging Contagious Infections”. 2020. Healthline.
- “Swine flu (H1N1 and H3N2 influenza virus) facts”. 2020. Medicinenet.
- “How does the COVID-19 pandemic compare to the last pandemic?”. livescience.com.