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Unmasking The Threat: H3N2 Influenza Virus

Author: Medical Team

Medical Blog

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Introduction

The contagious disease known as the flu is caused by four different types of influenza viruses: Influenza types A, B, C, and D. One of the influenza a subtypes, which are further subdivided into other categories, is H3N2. The H3N2 subtype popularly known as the "Hong Kong Flu” was first isolated from humans during 1968 flu pandemic. According to the centres for disease control and prevention, estimated number of deaths was 1 million worldwide and roughly 100,000 in the united states. Most excess deaths occurred in adults with 65 years of age and older.

The influenza a subtype H3N2 is known to produce seasonal flu epidemics in people. It is a highly infectious virus and cause major consequences, especially in young children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune system.

Symptoms

The H3N2 influenza virus can cause the same symptoms as other flu strains, including:

  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Body aches
  • Cough
  • Chills
  • Fatigue

Complications

While most people with H3N2 influenza virus recover within a week or two, some people may develop complications, particularly those with underlying medical conditions or weakened immune system.

Complications can include:

  • Pneumonia
  • Bronchitis
  • Sinus infections
  • Ear infections
  • Dehydration
  • Worsening of chronic medical conditions

Prevention

The best way to prevent H3N2 influenza virus is to get an annual flu vaccine, which is formulated to protect against the strains of the virus that are expected to be most prevalent in the upcoming flu season. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) recommends drinking enough of water, avoiding touching the eyes and nose, covering the mouth and nose while coughing and sneezing, and taking paracetamol for fever and body ache. Other preventive measures include:

  • Using a hand sanitizer with alcohol as well as routinely washing your hands with soap and water.
  • When you cough or sneeze, covering your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue.
  • Avoid going to work or school if you are sick.
  • Washing and sanitising surfaces and items that are often touched.
  • Wear mask.

Recent updates

  • Two persons have died of influenza caused by the H3N2 virus in New Delhi.
  • The first H3N2 death in the nation is reported to have happened in Hassan, Karnataka, and involved an 82-year-old male. According to officials, Hire Gowda was hospitalized on February 24 and died recently on march 1. He had diabetes and hypertension, according to reports.
  • The 56-year-old Haryana patient tested positive for H3N2 in January and had lung cancer. He passed away on Wednesday at his Jind residence.

Treatment

Oseltamivir, Zanamivir, Peramivir, and Baloxavir are available for the treatment of H3N2 influenza virus.

Conclusion

H3N2 influenza virus is a common strain of seasonal flu that can cause serious complications, particularly in vulnerable populations. It is important to continue monitoring the situation and taking necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the virus. The most effective way to prevent H3N2 influenza virus is to get an annual flu vaccine and practice good hygiene habits.

References

  1. TM;, A.J.D.R. H3N2 influenza viruses in humans: Viral mechanisms, evolution, and evaluation, Human vaccines & immunotherapeutics. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29641358/ (Accessed: March 20, 2023).
  2. DM;, T.J.K.M.1918 influenza: The mother of all pandemics, Emerging infectious diseases. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16494711/ (Accessed: March 20, 2023).
  3. Infection of the upper respiratory tract with seasonal influenza A(H3N2 ... . Available at: https://journals.asm.org/doi/abs/10.1128/JVI.02536-12 (Accessed: March 20, 2023).

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