A 58-YEAR-OLD Woman died in Gujarat’s Vadodara after getting infected with the H3N2 influenza Virus outbreak. The woman was undergoing treatment at Sir Sayajirao General Hospital (SSG) hospital and was diagnosed with hypertension. She was admitted to the hospital two days ago after having difficulty in breathing. This is Gujarat's first death due to the H3N2 influenza virus while it is the third casualty due to the virus in the country.

The first death by this H3N2 virus was reported in Karnataka where an 82-year-old man died in the Hassan district last week. Another incident of death due to the H3N2 influenza virus was reported from Haryana.

What Is Influenza H3N2 Virus?

The H3N2 virus is a subtype of the influenza A virus. This virus can affect animals and birds and can cause respiratory problems in human beings as well. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) scientists recently said that a subtype of this virus causes more hospitalisations than any other strain.

The symptoms of this influenza virus are somewhat similar to a cold and cough and include high fever, body pain, nausea, dehydration, difficulty in breathing, low blood pressure and diarrhoea.

The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said that H3N2 is a non-human influenza virus that typically circulates in pigs but can also infect humans. Doctors have advised the infected patients not to use antibiotics without taking proper instructions from their concerned doctors.

Dr Sandeep Nayar who is a senior director at New Delhi's BLK Max Super Speciality Hospital has prescribed the post-recovery diet for the infected patients to boost their energy.

"Vitamins are important but they are best taken from natural sources. I think what people do today is going out without breakfast and relying on pills for nutrients which is harming their immunity and overall wellbeing. Eating a balanced regular diet, drinking adequate fluid and getting regular exercise is crucial for immunity,” Dr Nayar was quoted as saying by India Today.

How To Prevent H3N2 Influenza Virus?

To stop the rapid spread of the influenza virus, doctors have advised the use of face masks in public places and to use of proper hygiene. People are also advised not to visit crowded places without using proper face masks. Doctors have advised that infected patients should isolate themselves to further stop the spread of the highly contagious virus.

Former AIIMS-Delhi Director Dr Randeep Guleria has said that this virus spreads through the droplets and mutates every year. He further cautioned senior citizens and patients with long-term respiratory problems to take proper treatment.

"So, currently we are seeing an increase in the number of cases of influenza, which is basically presenting fever, sore throat cough, body aches and runny nose history and is a type of influenza virus, which we see every year during this time of the year. But it is a virus with changes over time, it mutates over time and what we call an antigenic drift," Dr Guleria was quoted as saying by ANI.

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