LUCKNOW: If you have fever and respiratory infections like cough, sore throat, runny nose, avoid taking over-the-counter antibiotics and visit a doctor as it may be caused by Influenza virus sub variant H2N3 responsible for the recent spike in flu cases.
Experts said popping antibiotics could lead to reduced immunity in the long run. They said they are seeing almost 20% increase in influenza cases in the past two months. Once infected, symptoms persist for 15 days.
At KGMU, the number of flu cases rose from about 40 daily to nearly 50 in medicine OPD, whereas, at RMLIMS, it went from about 50 daily to 65. Similarly, Lokbandhu hospital is witnessing 20% increase in flu as cases count went from about 20 daily to 25 a day.
Explaining the cause, medical superintendent Dr D Himanshu said for the last two months, problems of continuous cough, throat ache, body pain and fever has been seen in patients and the major reason for this is H3N2 virus, a sub-variant of Influenza-A, as suggested by ICMR.
Himanshu said: "There is no need to panic as the symptoms subside on their own in 15 days. It is often seen that people come after consuming antibiotics, but the practice is dangerous and can lower immunity in the long run, so everyone should avoid it."
Lokbandhu Hospital MS Dr Ajay Shankar Tripathi said people are facing breathing trouble also. "People need to follow Covid-19 protocols like wearing masks, washing hands and avoiding contact with persons with flu symptoms to avoid infection."
A paediatrician at RMLIMS prof Srikesh Singh said: "Influenza virus keeps changing variants every year. Since they don't cause serious illness, there is no need to worry. However, people must take precautions and visit a doctor if they have influenza-like symptoms."
People with comorbidities should take extra precautions. If someone is having symptoms they should take nutritious and liquid diet and seasonal fruits. "Also, cold water, cold drinks and cold food should be avoided, because influenza affects children/old age with low immunity first," Srikesh added.

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