A combination of respiratory viruses–ranging from Covid-19 virus, swine flu (H1N1)–has led to increase in infection from H3N2. Also, the seasonal Victoria and Yamagata lineages of influenza B viruses are in circulation, says data from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
As India witnesses a spurt in the Influenza cases caused by H3N2 virus, health experts have suggested people to take precautionary measures such as use of masks, better hand hygiene, as well as an annual flu shot.
A total of 3,038 lab-confirmed cases of various subtypes of influenza including H3N2 have been reported till March 9 by the states, as per the latest data available on IDSP-IHIP (Integrated Health Information Platform).
The respiratory virus “spreads through droplets, so which means that the secretions can spread from person to person, and most people touch their nose and mouth at some point, or that secretions can remain on the fingers and when they shake hands with other people”, it can likely spread, said Dr Rajeev Jayadevan, co-chairman of the Indian Medical Association’s National Covid-19 Task Force, making a case for the need of masks particularly in crowded indoor gatherings.
H3N2 and H3N1 are both types of influenza A viruses, commonly known as the flu.
Some of the most common symptoms include prolonged fever, cough, running nose, & body pain. But in severe cases people may also experience breathlessness and/or wheezing.
Meanwhile, the Covid infection has also reported a spike after four months as 524 daily Covid cases were reported on Sunday.
The experts also suggested people to wash their hands before eating or utilising any public transit with soap or sanitiser to minimise the risk of infection.