H3N2 Influenza: Signs and symptoms of severe illness to watch out for
H3N2 Influenza can cause respiratory illness in humans. Here are warning signs and symptoms that you have a severe disease and need to be hospitalised.
H3N2 Influenza, a subtype of Influenza A virus has been spreading fast in India with around 90 cases so far and 2 deaths. The illness is said to cause fever that lasts for 3-5 days and a prolonged cough and cold for up to three weeks. H3N2 Influenza subtype causes more hospitalisations compared to other strains and the symptoms include persistent cough, headache, fever and sinus-related symptoms among others. While the disease is usually mild in vulnerable groups it can turn severe and puts one at risk of complications and even death. If one is finding it difficult to breath, have low blood pressure, high rate of breathing, bluish lips, seizures, confusion, one must be taken to hospital immediately. (Also read: H3N2 influenza vs Covid-19: Symptoms, incubation period, severity and more)
"Influenza H3N2 is a subtype of the influenza A virus that can cause respiratory illness in humans. The signs and symptoms of severe disease caused by H3N2 influenza can vary from person to person, but generally, the following symptoms may indicate a more severe illness," says Dr Jayalakshmi TK, Consultant, Pulmonology, Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai.
SEVERE SYMPTOMS OF H3N2 INFLUENZA
Dr Jayalakshmi lists the following signs of severe illness in H3N2 Influenza patients:
1. Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath can indicate the onset of pneumonia or other respiratory complications.
2. Severe or persistent vomiting: Severe or persistent vomiting can be a symptom of severe H3N2 influenza. This can lead to dehydration.
3. Dehydration: Dehydration can occur if a person with H3N2 influenza is not drinking enough fluids or is experiencing severe vomiting or diarrhea.
4. Low blood pressure: Low blood pressure can occur if a person with severe H3N2 influenza is experiencing dehydration or sepsis.
5. High rate of breathing: A high rate of breathing can occur if a person with severe H3N2 influenza is experiencing difficulty breathing or low oxygen saturation.
6. Worsening of existing chronic medical conditions: H3N2 influenza can worsen existing chronic medical conditions like asthma or diabetes.
7. Bluish lips or face can be a sign of low oxygen levels in the blood, which can occur with severe respiratory infections such as pneumonia, which can be a complication of influenza.
8. Seizures or convulsions can occur as a result of fever or inflammation in the brain, which can occur with severe cases of influenza or other viral infections.
9. Confusion or disorientation can occur as a result of fever or inflammation in the brain, which can occur with severe cases of influenza or other viral infections.
10. High fever that persists for more than three days is a common symptom of H3N2 influenza, as well as other types of influenza, and can be a sign of a more severe case of the illness.
11. Extreme fatigue or weakness is another common symptom of H3N2 influenza, as the body is using a lot of energy to fight off the virus.
12. Chest pain or pressure is a viral respiratory illness that primarily affects the upper respiratory system.
13. Low oxygen saturation (hypoxemia) can occur in individuals infected with the H3N2 influenza virus, especially in severe cases of the illness. The H3N2 influenza virus can cause respiratory symptoms such as coughing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness, which can lead to a decrease in oxygen saturation levels.
COMMON SIGNS OF H3N2 INFLUENZA
Dr. Shalmali Inamdar, Consultant, Physician and Adult Infectious Diseases, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital Mumbai talks about the common signs of H3N2 influeza
• High fever: A sudden onset of high fever is one of the most common symptoms of H3N2 infection. The fever may range from 100 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit and may last for 3 to 4 days.
• Cough: A dry, persistent cough is another common symptom of H3N2 infection. The cough may be severe and last for several weeks.
• Sore throat: A sore throat is also a common symptom of H3N2 infection. It may be accompanied by other symptoms such as fever and cough.
• Headache: Headaches are common in people with H3N2 influenza. They may be severe and persistent.
• Fatigue: Fatigue and weakness are common symptoms of H3N2 infection. They may last for several weeks even after the other symptoms have gone.
• Body aches: Body aches, especially in the back, arms, and legs, are common in people with H3N2 influenza. They may be severe and persistent.
• Chills: Chills are a common symptom of H3N2 infection. They may be accompanied by fever and body aches.
"If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Your doctor may prescribe antiviral medications to help relieve the symptoms and prevent complications. Healthy lifestyle choices can lower the risk of H3N2 influenza and a strong primary care system with access to a full-time model for doctors can overcome barriers to treatment," says Dr Inamdar.