H3N2 influenza wave hits country: Symptoms, precautions, dos and don’ts | India News


NEW DELHI: Hospitals across the country have been reporting thousands of cases of Influenza A subtype H3N2 over the past few monthswhich causes fever for 3-5 days and a persistent cough that can last up to three weeks.

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 H3N292% 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.
“About 10% of patients suffering severe acute respiratory infections caused by H3N2 needed oxygen, and 7% required ICU care,” the ICMR said.
Symptoms to watch out for:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sore throat
  • Muscle and body aches
  • Diarrhea
  • Runny nose and sneezing

The apex health research agency has also suggested a list of Dos and Don’ts for people to follow to protect themselves from contracting the virus.
Of the

  • Regularly wash hands with water and soap
  • Wear face masks and avoid crowded areas
  • Avoid touching mouth and nose
  • Cover nose and mouth while coughing and sneezing
  • Stay hydrated and consume plenty of fluids
  • Take only prescribed medicines (such as paracetamol) in case of fever and body ache.


  • Shake hands or use other contact-based greetings
  • Spit in public
  • Self medicate with antibiotics
  • Eat while sitting next to others or in a crowd

IMA advises against indiscriminate antibiotics use
Meanwhile, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has advised against indiscriminate use of antibiotics amid rising cases of cough, cold and nausea across the country.

The association also asked doctors to prescribe only symptomatic treatment and not antibiotics.
“Right now, people start taking antibiotics like Azithromycin and Amoxiclav etc, that too without caring for dose and frequency, and stop it once they start feeling better. This needs to be stopped as it leads to antibiotic resistance. Whenever there will be a real use of antibiotics, they will not work due to the resistance,” the IMA said in a statement.

The most misused antibiotics are Amoxicillin, Norfloxacin, Oprofloxacin, Ofloxacin and Levofloxacin.
Who is at risk?
The IMA’s Standing Committee for Anti-Microbial Resistance said that viral cases have surged due to air pollution, adding that the ailment mostly occurs in people aged below 15 and above 50 and causes upper respiratory infections along with fever.

The spate of infections are likely to reduce from March-end or April first week, as the temperature begins to rise.
(With inputs from agencies)


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