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H3N2, which is a sub-type of influenza A virus, is spreading quite rapidly in India. The virus is reported to have already killed 2 people, thereby triggering a lot of fear among citizens. According to Indian Council of Medical Researches (ICMR), the recent cases of intense coughing with fever lasting for a week or more as seen in many parts of the country can be related to Influenza A subtype H3N2 virus.
H3N2 has also caused outbreaks in the past in India. As per government report, as many as 90 flu cases across the country have been reported so far that were caused by this virus. However, not all flu is H3N2, as the change in weather also causes a number of cases of flu in India.
Let us take a look at the symptoms, prevention and other aspects of influenza A H3N2 in detail here.
H3N2 is a flu virus which causes infection in the respiratory system. It also affects mammals and birds by mutating into many different strains. As per CDC or Centres for Disease Control and WHO or World health Organization, H3N2 is a clan of Influenza A virus that is the reason for flu in human beings.
There are many diseases caused by various influenza infections like Avian, Swine etc., which show symptoms like fever and cough or even acute pneumonia, respiratory distress syndrome, etc.
Here are some common symptoms of H3N2 virus such as; Chills, Coughing Ache in muscles and body, Fever, Nausea, Vomiting, Sneezing and runny nose, Throat ache or Sore throat, or diarrhoea in some cases.
If people show such symptoms and experience difficulty in breathing or have discomfort in chest along with throat pain while gulping food and fever, it can be a sign of H3N2. In that case, the person should immediately see a doctor.
The H3N2 flu virus is extremely contagious and it can easily transmit from one infected individual to another. Among the various ways in which the virus could spread include;
The H3N2 virus generally attacks the respiratory tract. Hence it is important to continuously keep a track of the oxygen level by using a Pulse Oximeter. Moreover, it is also important to see a doctor if the saturation level of oxygen is below 95%.
Further, for people with a saturation level of oxygen lower than 90 % require intensive care. In such cases, it is not advisable to get self-medicated.
The key requirement is to take enough rest and to consume enough fluids. One can also take over-the-counter medicines for fever as part of H3N2 influenza treatment. If a patient shows extreme symptoms and under high risk, he/she may be advised to have antiviral medication by the doctor.
WHO also recommended patients to take neuraminidase inhibitors soon within 48 hours for those who show symptoms.
The spread of the A H3N2 influenza virus can take place from one infected individual to another. Hence, it is important to follow the protocols mentioned below to stay safe:
To Sum Up
It is important to note that there have been many cases of normal flu or influenza going on at present, which are not related to H3N2. The symptoms of normal flu include fever, cough, sore throat, and body ache. So, it is important not to get confused. People should not take any medication for H3N2 without consulting the medical practitioner and getting a thorough check-up.
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The best way to recover as suggested by doctors is to take proper rest and to drink lots of fluids soon after showing symptoms and consult a doctor.
Infections with influenza viruses can sometimes cause severe disease, even in healthy people. This can include complications like pneumonia, which require hospitalization.
The H3N2 outbreak of infection has already taken two lives in India. Hence, it is said to cause severe illness especially among young children and elderly people.
Yes, the H3N2 influenza is spreading rapidly in different parts of the country.
Influenza A (H3N2) Variant Virus1.
Yes, during the long flu season, it is likely to get the flu a second time.
The flu vaccines available at present are better against influenza B and influenza A(H1N1) viruses. However, they are not very effective against influenza A(H3N2) viruses.
An H3N2 infection generally lasts five to seven days. The fever generally should drop after three days.
Influenza A H3N2 infection was more severe than A H1N
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