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H3N2 virus: Virus prevention via signs, symptoms, and food

Experts caution that the symptoms can be severe for older persons and others with weakened immune systems and can linger for days. It's time to follow the COVID guidelines.



The majority of the nation is suffering from a flu-like condition. Nearly everyone is familiar with someone who has a fever, cough, runny nose, and bodily aches. While flu is frequent at this time of year when the weather shifts from very cold to mild, physicians caution that this is not seasonal flu. "The H3N2 influenza virus is to blame. Fever, cold, cough, runny nose, and maybe additional symptoms including body pains, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhoea are just a few of the symptoms that are comparable to those of seasonal flu viruses. According to Dr Umang Agrawal, infectious diseases consultant at PD Hinduja Hospital & MRC, Mahim, it may in extreme situations result in respiratory distress. Another important factor contributing to the rise in the number of afflicted patients with viral diseases is air pollution.


How dangerous is the H3N2 virus? Theoretically, this sickness may be contracted by anyone who comes into touch with the virus. Most persons with healthy immunity will experience upper respiratory tract infection symptoms. Yet, some high-risk populations are susceptible to serious problems from this specific virus. These people include individuals who smoke, have diabetes, have pre-existing lung conditions like COPD or asthma, are immunocompromised or have poor immunity, and are over 65 years old, according to Dr Agrawal.


A person infected with the H3N2 virus might spread the illness to others by exhaling droplets when coughing, sneezing, or talking. If someone touches their mouth or nose after coming in contact with a surface that has the virus on it, the infection may also spread. The risk of complications from the flu is increased among pregnant women, young children, older individuals, and people with underlying medical conditions.


Can this be avoided?


In recent years, we have learned that COVID—proper conduct—can help with influenza prevention. Avoiding crowded areas is one of them, as is using a face mask, cleaning your hands often with soap and water, and avoiding touching your face excessively. In addition, specialists advise annual influenza vaccinations to avoid the flu.


The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has issued a warning and instructed physicians and pharmacists to refrain from prescribing antibiotics to patients with the H3N2 virus. Individuals begin taking antibiotics like azithromycin and amoxiclav without regard for dosage or frequency, and they stop taking them soon after they begin to feel better. As a result of this, there will be an increase in antibiotic resistance. Antibiotics won't function in any situation when they are actually needed because of resistance.


The antiviral medication oseltamivir is used to treat H3N2 virus infections in both children and adults. "You must take it precisely as prescribed by your doctor. The majority of instances are self-limiting, and patients recover within five to seven days of being sick. Oseltamivir usage is very beneficial for quicker recovery from sickness, the specialist continues.


Foods to fight the virus


The last thing you may feel like doing when you or a loved one gets the illness is eating. And it's definitely normal to eat a bit less since, according to Dr. Deepu John, head Ayurvedic physician at Kairali The Ayurvedic Healing Village, you probably have a decreased appetite. "Resting the body is the first line of defence against the flu. Immunity will rise and the body's viral load will be reduced as a result. Also, when the body's digestive fire is at its weakest, you should stay away from big meals, spicy foods, raw salads, and cold foods like curds.

Soups and simple meals like porridge made of rice or millet are gentle on the stomach. Throughout the day, drink warm water, especially chukka malli water. This may be created by adding a teaspoon of whole coriander seeds to a litre of water along with an inch of dried ginger. This alleviates the headache and sore throat brought on by the flu. Triphala can also be gargled. Simply put half a teaspoon of Triphala powder in two cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce it to a glass, sprinkle some rock salt on top, and gargle with water, advises Dr. John.


Ghee and cloves are the magical components that go a long way in assisting your body to restore and replenish, claims nutritionist Shweta Shah, creator of Eatfit24/7. Cloves, according to Ayurveda, aid in clearing congestion, while ghee, a healthy fat, aids in reaching all of the body's organs. Warm up a tablespoon of ghee with a couple clove slices in it. Drink it after straining. The cloves' oil can be released into the ghee by heating. This mixture is a natural sedative and works well to treat colds, sinuses, sore throats, and coughs. Both adults and children may use it safely, according to Shah.


She advises preparing an ajwain potli for chest congestion and a clogged nose (carom seeds). Ajwain is nothing less than a miracle spice. Thymol, which has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities, is included in it. Put the potli in the microwave for three to four minutes, or cook it on a hot tawa for five to seven minutes. The heated potli should then be placed over the third eye chakra or in the center of both eyebrows on the forehead. Hold it near to your nose for the next position so you may breathe in the vapors. Then, provide a warm compress to your neck and chest by holding the potli over them. Most flu-related symptoms are instantly relieved by this.


Prevention measures for H3N2 :-

• Get your yearly flu vaccine.

• To prevent infection in crowded areas, use a mask.

• Keep your hands clean by routinely washing them with soap and water or hand sanitizer.

• Drink lots of water

• Refrain from touching eyes and nose.


• Keep away of sick individuals.

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