Guwahati, March 14 (IANS): Children below five years of age landing in the ICUs of the hospital with acute H3N2 infection have been causing worry among the doctors in many states in the country. However, Assam has so far witnessed a very low number of influenza H3N2 cases in the children, but Adenovirus infections have become a major concern here in the last few weeks.
Dr. Manoj Kumar Choudhury, Director of National Health Mission in Assam, told IANS, "We have got only one case of H3N2 infection across the government hospitals in the state. Therefore, at this point, we are not worried about this disease."
When asked about the measures the state health department has been taking to contain the spread of H3N2, he said, "When infections are extremely low, why should we unnecessarily create panic? We have been keeping a watch on the situation."
Meanwhile, Dr. Rachna Dass Hazarika, a paediatrician in a Guwahati-based superspeciality hospital, said, "The Influenza A (H3N2) is not causing a concern here as the number of cases detected is very small. I have only got two children with H3N2 infection, and they recovered well and did not require hospitalization."
But the Adenovirus infection has become a point of concern in Assam.
She said, "I have treated not less than 20 children with this infection, and most of them required hospitalization. Some even required high-flow oxygen therapy as there were breathing issues."
Dr. Hazarika continued, "Moreover, one child was very sick, and we had to put him on a ventilator support. After 25 days of treatment, the child got discharged from the hospital today."
According to healthcare professionals in the state, children were given the influenza vaccine after they reached six months of age. This also provide protection against the H3N2 infection. Probably, this is the reason why the Influenza A disease spread is less in Assam.
The children with asthma and breathing issues are generally put on regular check-up to avoid such type of infections, a paediatric expert informed.
"Even some children are getting influenza A (H3N2), but it is very mild and not causing much trouble to them," Dr. Hazarika said.
The doctors have recommended that children wear masks while they go out for school or other things.