Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh): Intense cold conditions in the year 2023 have triggered new viral fever in many areas of Malwa region. There has been a marked increase in patients exhibiting flu-like symptoms and many of these patients are testing positive for influenza H3N2. Giving this information Dr Naresh Purohit, advisor, National Communicable Disease Control Programme, said that city hospitals are witnessing a spike in H3N2 cases, which is a respiratory disease. He said that H3N2 influenza presents as a fever with chills, cough, runny nose, sore throat, body aches and diarrhoea.
Even after fever subsides, patients complain of cold and cough for a longer period. It is more severe in older adults and sees more hospitalisations than other strains. Quadrivalent vaccines can prevent it. Purohit cautioned that if H3N2 viral fever is not treated on time it leads to pneumonia. “The gullible populations who are at risk of severe infection and death are patients with other diseases such as kidney failure, diabetes mellitus, elderly with comorbidities like heart and kidney problems.
The surge is further increased with social events, travel and other activities. The patient is infectious in the first 3-4 days of infection. Once the infection travels to the lungs the patients develop breathing difficulty and chest pain,” said he. The current treatment of pneumonia varies as per the severity of symptoms. “Mild symptoms in young people with no other co-morbidities and normal blood parameters can be treated at home with medicines.
In case of either elderly or deranged blood parameters or co-morbidities the patients have to be admitted to the hospital. If oxygen measured by pulse oximeter or ABG (arterial blood gases) is low, oxygen inhalation is started in the form of nasal prongs or mask,” averred he. Purohit pointed out that some patients may require ventilator support. In case of either elderly or deranged blood parameters or co-morbidities the patients have to be admitted to the hospital.
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