H3N2 virus kills 2 in India, say reports. What to know about symptoms, treatment

Mar 10, 2023 02:17 PM IST

India has reportedly recorded two deaths due to the H3N2 influenza virus in Haryana and Karnataka.

India has reportedly recorded first two deaths due to the H3N2 influenza virus in Haryana and Karnataka. The victim from Karnataka suffered from fever, sore throat, and cough, and had symptoms of influenza-like illness (ILI), health department officials said on Friday. The 82-year-old man from Alur Taluk of Hassan district was admitted to the Hassan Institute of Medical Sciences on February 24 and died on March 1.

H3N2 virus kills 2 in India, say reports.
H3N2 virus kills 2 in India, say reports.

According to media reports, over 90 cases of the H3N2 virus are reported in India so far. The rising cases of the flu-like virus are becoming a cause of concern in the country.

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Also read: Pattern of viruses changed unexpectedly in past six months, says expert

What is the H3N2 virus?

According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), H3N2v is a non-human influenza virus that normally circulates in pigs and that has infected humans - known as ‘swine influenza 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 virus M gene, said CDC.

Currently, the severity of illness associated with H3N2 resembles that of seasonal flu.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms include fever, respiratory issues like cough and runny nose, as well as other symptoms including body aches, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. These symptoms usually may last for about a week, however, some people may endure them for a longer period of time too.

Treatment and prevention

People with the H3N2 virus are being advised medications that must be taken as per prescriptions. The currently recommended drugs – oseltamivir, zanamivir, peramivir, and baloxavir – are available by prescription from the doctor.

Also read: Does H3N2 influenza have relationship with Covid-19? Know what experts say

Some of the precautions include annual flu vaccinations, and regular hand washing - especially after using the restroom, before consuming food, and before touching your face, nose, or mouth. People should also avoid crowded areas and restrict interactions with people who are ill.

In case of flu, people are advised to stay at home for 24 hours after the fever has subsided.

Who is at higher risk?

According to CDC, children below five years of age, people who are 65 years and older, pregnant people, and people with certain long-term health conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart disease, weakened immune systems, and neurological or neurodevelopmental conditions are at a higher risk of developing complications if they get infected with the virus.

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