India has witnessed two deaths from the H3N2 influenza causing virus today. One died in Haryana while the other in Karnataka. There have been around 90 reported cases of the H3N2 virus in India. Additionally, eight cases of the H1N1 virus have also been found.
82-year old Hire Gowda, believed to be the first person to die from H3N2 in India is from Karnataka’s Hassan district. Gowda, who was already suffering from diabetes and hypertension, was admitted to the hospital on February 24 and died on March 1.
Over the last few months, there has been an increase in flu cases in India. The majority of these infections are caused by the H3N2 virus, also referred to as the “Hong Kong flu”. Currently, only H3N2 and H1N1 viruses have been identified in India.
The symptoms of H3N2 and H1N1 viruses are similar to those of Covid. Given the number of fatalities caused by the pandemic so far, the increasing cases of flu have raised concern among the public.
The symptoms of these flu viruses include a persistent cough, fever, chills, breathlessness, and wheezing. Patients may also experience nausea, a sore throat, body aches, and diarrhea. These symptoms typically last for about a week.
Experts say that the H3N2 and H1N1 viruses are very contagious and can spread when an infected person coughs, sneezes or comes in close contact with others.
To protect against these viruses, doctors recommend following Covid-like precautions such as regularly washing hands and wearing masks. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) advises covering one’s mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing, drinking plenty of fluids, avoiding touching the eyes and nose, and taking paracetamol for fever and body aches.
1. What are the symptoms of H3N2 virus?
The symptoms of this influenza-causing virus are fever, nausea, vomiting, and sore throat.
2. What type of virus is H3N2?
H3N2 is categorized as Influenza A virus.