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H3N2 Virus Cases Rise: Government Advisories Issued Across Six States

Edited by Alanna Fullerton

INDIA: H3N2 virus cases have been on the rise with approximately 451 cases recorded between January and March across the country, according to the data from the Union Health Ministry. In accordance with current data, nine deaths have been confirmed due to influenza. . The sudden surge in cases alongside consistent COVID vaccination efforts by the country has caused states to warn citizens to take preventive measures.

The H3N2 influenza is a virus which impacts the upper airway of the respiratory system, leading to cough, headache, fever, and other sinus-related symptoms. Unlike COVID, the symptoms are immediately noticeable within one to four days; however, the symptoms may persist for weeks, causing discomfort in the respiratory tract of the affected individual.

The government has issued a COVID advisory in six states so far: Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Maharashtra, and Gujarat.

Preventive measures are being implemented by these states and others. The Uttar Pradesh Government has issued a notice instructing hospitals across the state to admit infected patients if oxygen levels fall below 90. Additionally, helpline numbers to register patients and seek immediate help have also been circulated. Karnataka state minister, K Sudhakar, speaks on H3N2: “The Central government in its guidelines has set a target of 25 tests per week and we are screening 25 cases of SARI (severe acute respiratory infections) and ILI (influenza-like illness) in Victoria and Vani Vilasa Hospitals to keep track of the variants."

In an interview with India Today, the Director of Health Department, Dr Avinash Singh, warned that individuals aged 8 years or younger and those above 65 years of age must take precautions to avoid being infected by the H3N2 virus.

Other states such as Delhi and Maharashtra have also issued advisories to citizens and hospitals to monitor upcoming cases. Delhi Health Minister, Saurabh Bhardwaj, advised children and the elderly to take special precautions, alongside issuing instructions to District Surveillance Units and hospitals. State Health minister of Maharashtra, Tanaji Sawant, reassures citizens that there is “no need to worry” and encourages social distancing among other possible precautions against H3N2 influenza.

The advised states remain alert as cases rise, with other states following suit through immediate preventive measures and advisories being circulated. The Union Health Ministry continues to update the data regarding COVID and H3N2 virus cases.

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Tags: India health virus H3N2 influenza


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