Experts Alerted to Sudden Changes in H3N2 Virus Patterns. Is There a Reason To be Concerned?
In Haryana and Karnataka, India's first H3N2 influenza deaths have been reported
H3N2 virus-related influenza has claimed the lives of two people today, according to sources at the Union Health Ministry.
The government announced today that two people have died as a result of influenza caused by the H3N2 virus. The first death occurred in Haryana and the second in Karnataka.
A man 82 years old in Hassan, Karnataka, is believed to be the first in the country to die from H3N2. In accordance with hospital records, Hire Gowda died on March 1 after being admitted on February 24. Diabetes and hypertension were reported to be his ailments.
H3N2 has been reported in 90 cases across the country. Besides the H1N1 virus, eight other cases have also been reported.
Since the beginning of the year, there have been an increase in flu cases across the country. The most common cause of infection is H3N2, also known as the “Hong Kong flu.” More hospitalizations are caused by this virus than by other influenza subtypes in Hong Kong.
Currently, India is only experiencing H3N2 and H1N1 infections.
Both diseases share similar symptoms to Covid, which infected millions and killed 6.8 million people worldwide. As the number of flu cases has increased after two years of the pandemic, people have become concerned.
In addition to persistent coughing, fever, chills, and breathlessness, wheezing is another symptom. Aside from nausea and sore throat, patients have complained of body aches, diarrhea, and a sore throat. There is a possibility that these symptoms will persist for a week or more.
Coughing, sneezing, and close contact with an infected person are the main methods of spreading the virus, according to experts.
In addition to regular hand washing and mask use, doctors have recommended precautions similar to Covid. While sneezing or coughing, one should cover the mouth and nose, drink plenty of fluids, avoid touching the eyes or nose, and take paracetamol for fever and body pain.
For people with weakened immune systems due to chronic medical conditions, such as older adults, younger children, and people with weakened immune systems, the infection can be severe.
According to the Indian Medical Association, antibiotics should not be prescribed before confirming that the infection is bacterial. Those who do prescribe antibiotics can develop resistance to them.
What is the H3N2 virus?
Infectious H3N2v viruses are not human virus, but are normally found in pigs and have infected humans, known as ‘swine influenza viruses’. Variant viruses infect humans when they cause disease. It was found in 2011 that the specific H3N2 variant virus had genes from avian, swine, and human viruses, as well as the M gene from 2009 H1N1 pandemic virus.
There is currently no difference in severity between seasonal flu and H3N2.
What are the symptoms of this disease?
There are several symptoms associated with this illness, including fever, respiratory issues such as coughing and runny nose, as well as body aches, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Some people may experience these symptoms for longer than a week, although it is not uncommon for them to last longer.
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Prevention and treatment
H3N2 virus infected individuals are prescribed medicines to take according to their prescriptions. As of now, these drugs are only available with a doctor’s prescription – oseltamivir, zanamivir, peramivir, and baloxavir.
Vaccinations against influenza are one precaution, as are hand washing – especially after using the restroom, before eating, and before touching your face, nose, or mouth. It is also advisable to avoid crowded areas and limit your interactions with sick people.
During flu season, it is recommended that people stay at home for 24 hours after their fever has subsided.
Is there a higher risk group?
A person younger than five years of age, someone 65 or older, someone pregnant, and people with chronic illnesses such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, a weakened immune system, and neurological or neurodevelopmental conditions are more likely to develop complications if they become infected.