H3N2|h3n2 common name|h3n2 symptoms|h3n2 virus news|is h3n2 dangerous|H3N2 swine flu|H3N2 vaccine:The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has noted that the particular strain causes more hospitalisations than any other flu subtype.According to the ICMR, in hospitalised patients with H3N2, 92% patients were found to have fever, 86% had cough, 27% breathlessness, 16% wheezing. Additionally, the ICMR surveillance found that 16% such patients had pneumonia and 6% had seizures.
Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) scientists have said that the current spike in persistent cough, sometimes accompanied by fever, cases in India for the past two-three months is due to Influenza A subtype H3N2. They also said that H3N2 causes more hospitalisations than other subtypes. In symptomatic cases, ICMR scientists said they should wash hands with soap and water, wear masks and avoid crowded places, cover mouth and nose while sneezing and coughing, avoid touching eyes and nose, take plenty of fluids and take paracetamol for fever and bodyache.
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According to WHO, seasonal influenza is an acute respiratory infection caused by influenza viruses. There are 4 types of seasonal influenza viruses, types A, B, C and D. Influenza A and B viruses circulate and cause seasonal epidemics of disease, the World Health Organization said. Influenza A viruses are further classified into subtypes according to the combinations of the hemagglutinin (HA) and the neuraminidase (NA), the proteins on the surface of the virus.
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What is H3N2 virus?
It is an influenza virus that causes respiratory infection. The virus can also infect birds and mammals. In bird and other animals, it has mutated into many strains.
H3N2 is a subtype of Influenza A virus, which is an important cause of human influenza, according to Centres for Disease Control (CDC) and World health Organization (WHO).
What are the symptoms?
According to WHO, avian, swine and other zoonotic influenza infections in humans may cause disease ranging from mild upper respiratory infection (fever and cough) to rapid progression to severe pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, shock and even death. Some of the common symptoms of H3N2 virus are:
- Throat ache/sore throat
- An ache in muscles and body
- In some cases, diarrhoea
- Sneezing and runny nose
If a person experiences difficulty in breathing, pain or discomfort in chest, continuous fever and pain in throat while gulping down the food, it is very important to see a doctor.
Fever, respiratory symptoms like cough and runny nose, as well as other symptoms including body aches, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhoea, are some of the prominent symptoms of H3N2 virus. “Apart from asthmatic patients, there are many additional individuals who have serious lung infections and are having difficulties breathing. Patients are experiencing similar issues as a result of climate change. Individuals with chronic illnesses, such as asthma, must exercise special caution during such weather shifts since they might provoke severe respiratory difficulties and asthma episodes,” added Dr SK Chhabra.
H3N2 Treatment and precautions:
“Children and adults with H3N2 Virus can be treated with Oseltamivir, zanamivir, peramivir, and baloxavir are currently advised medications and can be obtained with a prescription from your physician. If your doctor has prescribed you antiviral medicine, you should take it exactly as directed by your doctor,” added the expert. He further noted down a few precautionary measures that should be taken to avoid contracting H3N2 virus:
Vaccination: Annual flu vaccinations should be obtained. It is advised to receive it by the end of October.
Hand hygiene: Regularly wash your hands, especially after using the restroom, before consuming food, and before touching your face, nose, or mouth.
Crowded areas: Avoid crowded areas where the virus can quickly spread.
Interactions: Restrict your interactions with sick people.
Self-quarantine: In case of flu, stay at home for 24 hours after the fever has subsided. We must also cover our mouth while coughing or sneezing to avoid spreading the illness.
What are the precautions to be taken?
Since the virus attacks the respiratory tract, it is very important to:
- Keep checking the oxygen level continuously with the help of Pulse Oximeter
- If the oxygen saturation level is less than 95 per cent, a visit to the doctor is mandatory.
- If the oxygen saturation level is less than 90 per cent, then intensive care may be required.
- Experts caution against self-medication in such cases
What are the treatment options?
Taking proper rest, drinking lots of fluids and using over-the-counter painkillers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen to lower fever are all part of the H3N2 influenza treatment regimen. If a patient has severe symptoms or is at a high risk of problems, a doctor may also recommend antiviral drugs such as oseltamivir and zanamivir.
WHO further says that in suspected and confirmed cases, neuraminidase inhibitors should be prescribed as soon as possible (ideally, within 48 hours following symptom onset) to maximize therapeutic benefits.
Dos and Don’ts
The virus can spread rapidly among humans from infected people. So, experts say it is very important to follow some protocols:
- Regularly wash your hands with water and soap
- Wear face masks and avoid crowded areas
- Avoid touching your nose and mouth
- Cover your nose and mouth properly while coughing and sneezing
- Stay hydrated and consume plenty of fluids
- In case of fever and bodyache, take paracetamol
They also say it’s better to avoid:
- Spitting in public areas
- Using contact-based greetings such as shaking hands
- Self-medicating and taking antibiotics or any other medications without consulting a doctor
- Eating while seated next to other people
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Following is a list of all the health and age factors that are known to increase a person’s risk of getting serious flu complications, according to US body Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC
- Although all children younger than 5 years old are considered at higher risk of serious flu complications, the highest risk is for those younger than 2 years old, with the highest hospitalization and death rates among infants younger than 6 months old.
- Adults 65 years and older
- Neurologic and neurodevelopment conditions
- Blood disorders (such as sickle cell disease)
- Chronic lung disease (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD] and cystic fibrosis)
- Endocrine disorders (such as diabetes mellitus)
- Heart disease (such as congenital heart disease, congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease)
- Kidney diseases
- Liver disorders
- Metabolic disorders (such as inherited metabolic disorders and mitochondrial disorders)
- People who are obese with a body mass index [BMI] of 40 or higher
- People younger than 19 years old on long-term aspirin- or salicylate-containing medications.
- People with a weakened immune system due to disease (such as people with HIV or AIDS, or some cancers such as leukemia) or medications (such as those receiving chemotherapy or radiation treatment for cancer, or persons with chronic conditions requiring chronic corticosteroids or other drugs that suppress the immune system)
- People who have had a stroke
- Pregnant people and people up to 2 weeks after the end of pregnancy
- People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
Is H3N2 the swine flu?
H3N2v is a non-human influenza virus that normally circulates in pigs and that has infected humans. Viruses that normally circulate in pigs are “swine influenza viruses.” When these viruses infect humans, they are termed “variant” viruses.
What causes H3N2 virus?
The 1968 pandemic was caused by an influenza A (H3N2) virus comprised of two genes from an avian influenza A virus, including a new H3 hemagglutinin, but also contained the N2 neuraminidase from the 1957 H2N2 virus. It was first noted in the United States in September 1968.
What was the H3N2 flu called?
While swine flu viruses do not normally infect humans, occasional human infections have occurred. When swine flu viruses infect humans, the viruses are called “variant viruses”. The influenza A (H3N2) variant virus, or H3N2v, was first identified in pigs in the United States in 2010.
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Influenza viruses that normally circulate in pigs are called “variant” viruses when they are found in people.