2 men test H3N2 positive in Uttarakhand’s Haldwani; health dept on alert
Senior officials of the Uttarakhand state health department said there is no need to panic but strict preventive measures are to be taken
The health department of Uttarakhand is on alert mode after two men tested positive for H3N2 flu in Haldwani of Nainital district. Senior officials said there is no need to panic but strict preventive measures are to be taken.
Dr Umesh Varshney, head, microbiology department in Government Medical College, Haldwani said, “Two samples of influenza patients were sent by a private hospital in Haldwani. Both tested H3N2 flu positive. People must wear face masks and avoid going to rush to ward off the flu.”
According to health officials, two men, aged 42 and 51 years, had been admitted to a private hospital in Haldwani on complaint of cold, prolonged cough and body pain. Their samples were sent to the virology lab in the medical college. They tested H3N2 positive on March 7. Later their treatment went on and they are said to have recovered from the flu.
Parmjeet Singh, a senior physician, in medical college said, “The number of patients having fever, cold and cough have been on an increase for a few weeks. They are being sent to their homes after consultation.”
“Instructions are being issued to doctors and patients to wear face masks. We are continuously monitoring the situation,” said Bhagirathi Joshi, chief medical officer of Nainital district.
“No need to be panicky about H3N2. It is an infection and spreads like any other influenza. One must eat a healthy diet and keep the body hydrated to strengthen immunity. A strong immune system keeps this disease or flu at bay,” said Varshney.
Vinita Shah, director, health department, Uttarakhand said, “Only two cases have been detected so far in the state. We are collecting information from other labs about it. We have issued an advisory to our staff on how to deal with this kind of influenza. There is no matter of panic.”
According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CD), H3N2 is a non-human influenza virus that normally circulates in pigs and that has infected humans, known as swine flu viruses. When these viruses infect humans, they are termed ‘variant’ viruses. The specific H3N2 variant virus was detected in 2011 in humans with genes from avian, swine and human viruses and the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. The symptoms include fever, respiratory issues like cough and runny nose, as well as other symptoms including body aches, nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea.
The Union Health Ministry is also keeping a close watch on the seasonal influenza situation in states through the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) network on real-time basis. According to health department officials, seasonal influenza is an acute respiratory infection caused by influenza viruses which circulate in all parts of the world, and the cases are seen to increase during certain months globally. India every year witnesses two peaks of seasonal influenza: one from January to March, and the other in post monsoon season. The cases arising from seasonal influenza are expected to decline from March end.