Majority of H3N2 patients do not require hospitalisation, say Pune doctors - Hindustan Times
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Majority of H3N2 patients do not require hospitalisation, say Pune doctors

Mar 12, 2023 10:19 PM IST

There are no major cases of H3N2, and there are only a few cases. Very rarely do we find cases of swine flu (H1N1) and there is nothing to worry about, says experts

While two deaths have been reported in the country due to H3N2 influenza – one in Haryana and the other in Karnataka – Maharashtra has not recorded any such deaths. Doctors from Pune have said that the majority of H3N2 patients do not require hospitalisation.

Very few H3N2 patients have been admitted to major hospitals in the city for treatment. (REPRESENTATIVE PHOTO)
Very few H3N2 patients have been admitted to major hospitals in the city for treatment. (REPRESENTATIVE PHOTO)

Dr Bhagwan Pawar, newly-appointed health officer of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), said, “There is no daily reporting for H3N2 cases currently in Pune. There are no major cases of H3N2, and there are only a few cases. Very rarely do we find cases of swine flu (H1N1) and there is nothing to worry about.”

“There has been no mortality recorded in the state due to H3N2. However, due to fluctuation in weather conditions, the attack rate of H3N2 has increased but it is not a major concern,” Dr Pawar said.

Very few H3N2 patients have been admitted to major hospitals in the city for treatment.

Dr Pankaj Jain, chest physician, Jehangir Hospital, said, “I did have two H3N2 patients last week, who were diagnosed with influenza. There are different variants of influenza; what we call strains of influenza virus such as H1N1, H2N2, H3N2, which we usually come to know as we send samples to the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune.”

One of Dr Jain’s patients, a 29-year-old engineer who is undergoing treatment at Jehangir hospital, did not have any asthma or hypertension or diabetes but had developed pneumonia confirmed with influenza virus H3N2 and his oxygen was only 90% so he required oxygen support for two to three days. “The patient responded well to antiviral medicines within three days and now, his oxygen level has become normal. The fear of the patient has also subsided. For the majority of people who get influenza, we do not expect them to require oxygen support. They develop a fever for say 24 to 48 hours or they don’t develop a fever and are alright in two to three days if their immunity is strong. That’s how a majority of these patients recover and this is true for all types of influenza virus,” Dr Jain said.

Along with the elderly, the influenza virus is also found in the younger population. This year, there have been a lot of patients in the age group of 25 to 45 years, according to doctors. While these patients do not have any lung or heart disease or diabetes, a majority of them are still recovering at home with just the supportive treatment of paracetamol.

Dr Devashish Desai, consultant, infectious diseases, Ruby Hall Clinic, said, “Over the last month, there have been several patients with fever and upper respiratory tract symptoms who have tested positive for either influenza A (H3N2) or influenza B. Some of them have been admitted at Ruby Hall with secondary bacterial pneumonia, which is the main complication that is responsible for morbidity in influenza. I have not seen any cases of H1N1 during this time.”

Whereas Dr Jitendra Bhawalkar, dean, D Y Patil, said, “D Y Patil does not have any such type of patients.” And a KEM Hospital spokesperson said, “We have not received any cases for both H3N2 and H1N1 yet.”

Abrarali Dalal, CEO and additional director, Sahyadri Hospitals, said, “We have been getting H3N2 cases at our units however, this is more of seasonal flu. There are no H1N1 cases that we have come across.”

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