Flu cases rising in India, Two suspected H3N2 deaths
The Union Health Ministry has confirmed one death each in Haryana and Karnataka due to H3N2 subtype of flu virus in March.
An overview of the news
Figures from the Integrated Disease Surveillance Program show that at least nine people died of the flu in January.
What is the H3N2 virus?
Influenza virus, which causes the infectious disease called flu, is of four different types – A, B, C and D.
Influenza A is classified into different subtypes and one of them is H3N2.
Influenza A is an RNA virus. It is classified into subtypes based on the type of two proteins found on its surface.
Influenza D virus is found in cattle and pigs.
According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), H3N2 caused the flu pandemic of 1968, which caused the death of about one million people worldwide and about 100,000 in the US alone.
Symptoms of H3N2
Symptoms are similar to that of any other flu.
Cough, fever, body ache and headache, sore throat, a runny or stuffy nose, and extreme fatigue are common symptoms.
In some cases, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea are also seen.
H3N2 influenza is highly contagious and can spread from person to person when an infected person talks, coughs, or sneezes.
It can also spread by touching a surface contaminated with the virus and then touching someone's mouth or nose.
People at higher risk of complications from the flu include pregnant women, young children, the elderly, and people with underlying medical conditions.
Getting proper rest, drinking plenty of fluids, and using pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to reduce fever are all parts of H3N2 influenza treatment.
Doctors may also recommend antiviral drugs like oseltamivir and zanamivir if a patient has severe symptoms.
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