The H3N2 virus belongs to the influenza A virus subclass.
A rapid increase in instances of influenza A subtype H3N2 across India has raised concerns. Over the previous few months, hospitals all around the country have reported thousands of cases of influenza A subtype H3N2. It can produce a cough that lasts up to three weeks and a fever that lasts for three to five days.
Guidelines and measures have been recommended by medical professionals to combat this outbreak. The current Chairman of the Institute of Internal Medicine, formerly the senior physician at AIIMS, Dr. Randeep Guleria, stated that the H3N2 influenza virus is one that we encounter annually during this time of year.
Antigenic drift is a term used to describe how viruses change over time. H1N1 caused a pandemic that occurred many years ago. That is a typical influenza strain because the H3N2 strain of the virus is currently in circulation.
How does H3N2 influenza spread?
According to Dr. Guleria, this influenza virus disperses by droplets similar to COVID. Only individuals with comorbid conditions should exercise caution. Wear a mask, wash your hands frequently, and maintain physical distance as a precaution. There is a vaccination available for influenza for high-risk individuals as well as the elderly.
According to Dr. Guleria, it manifests as a fever, sore throat, cough, body pains, and cold. Clinics in the Delhi-NCR region are overrun with such cases. And, it seems like every second patient is showing signs of this influenza.
All of the government’s fever clinics have been told to stock up on medicines and cough syrups in case this virus strikes, according to Dr. Shalin Mitra, advisor to the health department in the tele government.
Since antibiotics can destroy healthy bacteria in the body, doctors have urged all of the fever clinics not to administer them at the moment.
Precautions against H3N2 influenza
In a recent recommendation, the ICMR urged individuals to refrain from using antibiotics and self-medication during this influenza pandemic.
According to Dr. Vishal Gupta of Fortis Internal Medicine, people are frequently not using masks, which is contributing to the spread of influenza. He recommended that individuals keep their immunity up and wear masks in busy areas. He noted that in addition to staying hydrated, people should abstain from using cold water, ice cream, cold drinks, or greasy food.
Dr. Gaurav Sharma, a child specialist in Delhi who sees between 30 and 40 patients each day. He claimed that the majority of people who visited his clinic complained of persistent coughs, fevers, and other symptoms. For kids, he advised nebulization.