Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) scientists who are observing and examining ailments caused by respiratory viruses through the Virus Research and Diagnostic Laboratories network, revealed on Friday that influenza is behind several cases of cough, cold and fever in India.

“A persistent cough, sometimes accompanied by fever, running through India for the past two-three months is due to Influenza A subtype H3N2. The H3N2, which has been in wide circulation for the past two-three months, causes more hospitalisations than other subtypes,” ICMR experts said.

They have also issued a list of dos and don’ts that individuals should abide by in order to avoid catching the virus. Meanwhile, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has cautioned against the inappropriate use of antibiotics in light of the country’s growing rates of cough, cold, and nausea.

It stated that seasonal fever would last from five to seven days. According to the IMA’s Standing Committee for Anti-Microbial Resistance, the cough might last up to three weeks while the fever would disappear after three days.

According to the study, viral incidences have increased as a result of air pollution. It also stated that the majority of cases affect those over 50 and under 15 and that upper respiratory infections and fever are common symptoms. Further, the group advised doctors to solely recommend symptomatic care rather than antibiotics.

“Right now, people start taking antibiotics like Azithromycin and Amoxiclav etc, that too without caring for dose and frequency and stop once they start feeling better. This needs to be stopped as it leads to antibiotic resistance. Whenever there will be a real need of antibiotics, they will not work due to the resistance,” the IMA said in a statement.

Amoxicillin, Norfloxacin, Oprofloxacin, Ofloxacin, and Levofloxacin are the antibiotics that are most frequently misused. It stated that they are used to treat UTIs and diarrhea.

“We have already seen widespread use of Azithromycin and Ivermectin during Covid and this too has led to resistance. It is necessary to diagnose whether the infection is bacterial or not before prescribing antibiotics,” it said.

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