H3N2 virus in India: Flu outbreak could subside by this date, say Health Ministry sources

A couple of deaths reported due to the H3N2 virus in India have raised serious concerns among the medical fraternity as many fear that the situation may get as worse as the Covid outbreak. However, sources from Health Ministry have confirmed that the H3N2 virus is seasonal and it usually occurs during this season.

Sources also confirmed that the Government of India has issued an advisory regarding the same and keeping an eye on the situation.

From January 2 to March 5 this year, 451 cases of the H3N2 have been reported in the country, according to data shared by the ministry on Friday. It also said it is keeping a close watch on the situation and cases are expected to decline from month’s end. The illness causes a fever that lasts for 3-5 days and a prolonged cough and cold for up to three weeks.

The H3N2 Influenza subtype has caused more hospitalizations compared to other strains and the symptoms include persistent cough, headache, fever, and sinus-related symptoms among others. Symptoms are similar to those of seasonal flu viruses and can include fever and respiratory symptoms such as cough and runny nose, and possibly other symptoms, including body ache, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhoea.

Recent data from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) also shows that H3N2 – a sub-type of the influenza virus – has been in wide circulation for the last two-three months. “A sudden increase in the number of patients having symptoms of cough, nausea, vomiting, sore throat fever, body ache, and diarrhea in some cases,” the IMA wrote on Twitter.

According to the latest data available on IDSP-IHIP (Integrated Health Information Platform), a total of 3,038 laboratory-confirmed cases of various subtypes of Influenza including H3N2 have been reported till March 9 by the states.

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