The virus is also causing an increase in ICU cases among infants and children under the age of five. (Photo credit: Pexels)
H3N2 generates more hospitalisations than other influenza genotypes, hence it is advised to take precautionary measures
- The virus is also causing an increase in ICU cases among infants and children under the age of five.
- It is a rare condition if the H3N2 causes bilateral interstitial pneumonia which can lead to a condition called Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome.
- The risk of mortality increases in patients who have other health conditions.
As COVID-19, H3N2 influenza and Adenovirus instances have increased across the country, the viruses are also being reported as a cause of death in India. Given that H3N2 generates more hospitalisations than other influenza genotypes, precautions such as wearing masks, frequent hand washing, and social distancing must be taken to prevent its spread.
According to the reports, the virus is also causing an increase in ICU cases among infants and children under the age of five, with many of them complaining of shortness of breath, coughing, fever, and pneumonia-like symptoms.
Dr Rahul Sharma, Additional Director of Pulmonology and Critical Care, at Fortis Hospital Noida told News9, “It is very rare but possible that that H3N2 causes bilateral interstitial pneumonia which can further lead to a condition called Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS).”
ARDS occurs when fluid builds up in the tiny, elastic air sacs (alveoli) in your lungs. The signs and symptoms of ARDS can vary in intensity, depending on its cause and severity, as well as the presence of underlying heart or lung disease. It can predispose those afflicted to develop acute kidney injury as well.
Acute kidney injury (AKI) is the most frequent extra-pulmonary organ failure in ARDS. He added, “Furthermore, severe H3N2 infection can affect several organs, especially kidney.”
“When the person develops virus-related ARDS, there is a biochemical surge in the body that affects all the organs leading to multi-organ dysfunction and the kidney can also be affected in that. In some cases, where patients can develop ARDS sepsis or multi-organ dysfunction, they might need dialysis for improvement,” he explained.
People with comorbidities are at more risk
Adding he said, “People who are at extreme ages like kids and elderly, people who have underlined lung disease which is poorly controlled like diabetes, hypertension, cardiac diseases, respiratory diseases like asthma, COPD, allergies or people who are on immuno-suppressants drugs are at higher risk of getting severe H3N2 infection.”
The risk of mortality increases in patients who have other health conditions, otherwise it is considered as common flu, he concluded.
Influenza is classified into three types – H1N1, H3N2 and influenza B which is called Yamagata. India has only detected the H1N1 and H3N2 viruses so far.
As for the symptoms of H3N2 flu, they include fever, cough, sore throat, vomiting, and diarrhea. According to doctors, this flu usually lasts for 5 to 7 days. The fever usually goes away on the third day of the flu, but the cough can last up to 3 weeks. According to a Times of India report, 40 percent of people in Delhi-NCR are fighting against this flu. Not only that, many people are coming to the hospital due to post-viral bronchitis.