With the sudden and drastic change in weather conditions, another disease is sweeping the country. The influenza virus has witnessed a new spike in India, and the subtype responsible for the increase in cases is H3N2.
Two people have been reported to have died from the H3N2 influenza virus, one in Haryana and one in Karnataka, according to the Indian government. According to experts, the influenza H3N2 virus has changed its pattern unexpectedly in just six months, leading to serious health problems, including severe pulmonary infections .
A report by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Indian Medical Association (IMA) indicates that many Indians are suffering from respiratory problems caused by influenza A subtype H3N2.
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What Are The Long Lasting Effects Of H3N2?
Influenza A virus (H3N2)-affected patients suffer from high-grade fever, breathing difficulties, fatigue, and a dry cough for two to three weeks, and in some cases, hospitalisation is required.
It is common for people to recover from the flu within a few days to two weeks; however, some people develop complications (such as pneumonia) as a result of the flu, some of which may be life-threatening and result in death .
According to certain studies, these are the long-term effects of H3N2:
1. Long-lasting cough
The H3N2 virus can cause a dry, persistent cough. Some people can develop long-lasting coughs, which may persist even after medicines are administered. The virus can irritate the respiratory tract, leading to a chronic cough.
Viruses of this type cause inflammation in the respiratory tract, resulting in the narrowing of the airways, which can make it difficult for mucus and other irritants to be cleared .
2. Alzheimer’s disease
A study has suggested that the H3N2 virus exacerbates Alzheimer's disease symptoms, possibly by activating microglial cells. Microglia are the primary immune cells in the central nervous system. As a result of the H3N2 virus, microglial activity increases, resulting in inflammation, which can worsen Alzheimer's disease symptoms .
3. Other problems
The flu can also trigger serious complications such as inflammation of the heart (myocarditis), brain (encephalitis), or muscle tissues (myositis, rhabdomyolysis), as well as multi-organ failure (e.g., respiratory failure and renal failure) .
If the flu virus infects the respiratory tract, it can initiate an extreme inflammatory response in the body, resulting in sepsis, the body's life-threatening response to infection.
Additionally, flu can exacerbate chronic medical conditions.
For example, people with asthma may experience asthma attacks during flu season, and people with chronic heart failure may experience a worsening of their condition during flu season .
On A Final Note...
The Indian Medical Association has advised physicians to avoid giving patients antibiotics before determining whether the ailment is bacterial because this can lead to resistance to antibiotics.
Most of the current cases of fever, cough, sore throat, and body aches are caused by influenza and do not require antibiotics.
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