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Influenza H3n2 virus infection: Prevention and precautions.
H3N2 is a subtype of the Influenza virus that mutates, causing flu disease in the community, mostly during seasonal changes. Post covid, there has been an increase in the surge of flu cases compared to previous years, and also the duration has been longer, extending to February and still going on in March. Due to mutation, they escape immunity and cause symptoms and disease in the community. The virus spreads like covid, transmitting from one person to another through droplet infection by coughing, sneezing, or coming in close contact. It also can spread by surface contact and touching the face and nose. Dr Vandana Boobna, Associate Director, Internal Medicine, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, shares everything about this spreading influenza H3n2 virus infection.
Causes Of H3n2
H3n2 cause diseases ranging from mild upper respiratory infection (fever and cough) to rapid progression to severe pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, shock, and even death. Some common symptoms of the H3N2 virus are chills, coughing, fever, nausea, throat ache, sore throat, muscle aches, diarrhoea, sneezing, and running nose. A person who experiences difficulty breathing, pain or discomfort in the chest, continuous fever, and pain in the throat while gulping down food should immediately visit the doctor.
Lethal As H1N1
Though the infection is not lethal and as severe as covid or H1N1, the country has observed two deaths recently and an increase in hospitalization and OPD consultation. The virus is very contagious whole family or working place is being affected, barring age and sex, but people who are vulnerable or immunocompromised are at risk for severe illness.
Influenza H3n2 Virus Treatment
Treatment is symptomatic primarily, and taking medication over the counter is not recommended. Some anti-viral is recommended but should be taken under a physician's guidance and when indicated. Adequate hydration, rest, temperature and vitals monitoring / gargles and steam with a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Paracetamol for fever and antihistaminics are supportive medications.
Influenza H3n2 Virus Prevention
Vaccination for influenza is available, and every year, there is a new vaccine as the virus mutates. Therefore, it is recommended that every individual consult their family physician for the same in August.
Precautions For Influenza H3n2 Virus
- Wear a mask in public places
- Avoid crowded places
- Cough and sneeze in your sleeve
- Avoid touching your mouth and nose
- Hydrate well and take a nutritious diet
- In case of fever, or cough, do not self-medicate and consult your family physician.
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