As India finds respite from the devastating COVID-19 virus, now deaths have been reported due to H3N2 virus from Haryana and Karnataka. The Union Health Ministry sources have confirmed the death of two individuals caused by the H3N2 virus, with one in Haryana and the other in Karnataka, NDTV report.
According to top official sources, the country has reported around 90 cases of the H3N2 virus, also known as the “Hong Kong flu,” along with eight cases of the H1N1 virus.
The H3N2 and H1N1 viruses have caused the deaths of two people in India, with several cases being reported in the country. It is essential to recognize the symptoms and seek prompt medical attention to prevent complications. Meanwhile, the Indian Medical Association has advised doctors to avoid prescribing antibiotics indiscriminately to patients without ascertaining the cause of the infection.
H3N2 is a subtype of the influenza A virus that can cause seasonal flu outbreaks in humans. The symptoms of H3N2 infection typically start suddenly and can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue.
In some cases, people may also experience gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. These symptoms can vary from person to person and can range from mild to severe.
The Facts of the Matter
In recent news, it has been reported that several people in India have been affected by the H3N2 virus, just as the population found some much-needed respite from the COVID-19 virus. The emergence of this virus in India is concerning as it could lead to an increase in hospitalizations and overwhelm the healthcare system.
Meanwhile, as per various prominent news outlets, at least two deaths have been reported due to H3N2 virus – with one each from Haryana and Karnataka.
Spread of H3N2 Virus in Karnataka
In a worrying development, the H3N2 virus has claimed a life in Karnataka, just days after the state’s health minister, K Sudhakar, sought to allay fears about its spread, News18 reported.
According to Sudhakar, 26 individuals in Karnataka have tested positive for the H3N2 variant, with two cases confirmed in Bengaluru. The health minister also cautioned that the virus poses a greater risk to children under 15 and older individuals over 60.
40% of Fever Cases with H3N2 Virus in Haryana
Earlier in February, a TOI report quoted Dr Amitabh Parti of Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram, saying, “We are witnessing 40% of the viral fever cases with H3N2 currently. Several people are coming to the hospital with post-viral bronchitis because of H3N2.”
Amid rise in such cases, the state reported its first death due to H3N2 in Haryana.
What is H3N2 Virus?
H3N2 virus is a subtype of the influenza A virus that causes seasonal flu in humans. It is highly contagious and can spread rapidly through coughs and sneezes of infected individuals. The symptoms of H3N2 virus infection are similar to other strains of the flu, including fever, cough, and body aches. The virus poses a higher risk to children under 5, adults over 65, pregnant women, and individuals with pre-existing medical conditions.
Guidelines to Manage H3N2 Virus
The treatment guidelines for H3N2 virus infection may vary depending on the severity of the illness and the patient’s overall health condition.
Practicing good hygiene, such as washing hands frequently and avoiding contact with sick individuals, can also help prevent the spread of the virus. While over the counter medications may help in symptomatic relief, one must consider reaching out to a healthcare professional to have a better understanding of the virus and its treatment.
Health Minister @mansukhmandviya held a meeting to review rising cases of H3N2 Influenza virus & issued advisory to States to be on alert & closely monitor situation. @MoHFW_INDIA pic.twitter.com/eel7LVNsQt
— DD News (@DDNewslive) March 10, 2023