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H3N2 Influenza: India Sees 2 Deaths From This Virus – Check Symptoms

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According to news reports, India has seen two deaths due to H3N2 influenza virus in two states of North and South India – Haryana and Karnataka. While the first death was reported from the state of Karnataka, the second death, reports say, came from Haryana. For the past several weeks, the country has been in the grip of this virus which has led to hospitalisations as well.

According to a PTI report, an 82-year-old man became the first victim of the H3N2 virus in Karnataka.  According to the District Health Officer of Hassan in Karnataka, Hire Gowda died due to the virus on March 1. “It is confirmed that Hire Gowda, son of Halage Gowda, 82 years, died of H3N2 virus on March 1,” the DHO told PTI. He also said Gowda was a diabetic and suffered from hypertension as well.

There have been around 90 cases of the H3N2 virus reported in the country. Eight cases of the H1N1 virus have also been reported. H3N2 influenza is also known as the “Hong Kong flu”. Patients are taking more time to recover and coming on the heels of the Covid-19 pandemic, this virus has led to widespread concerns. Doctors have however told people not to panic and follow flu-appropriate behaviours.

H3N2 Virus: Symptoms

Some of the key symptoms of the H3N2 virus include cough, chills, fever, sneezing and runny nose, nausea and vomiting, sore throat, body pain and muscle aches as well as diarrhoea.

Earlier, the Chairman of the Institute of Internal Medicine and Respiratory and Sleep Medicine and Director of Medical Education, Dr Randeep Guleria said that this virus mutates every year during this time and spreads through droplets. “So, currently we are seeing an increase in the number of cases of influenza, which is basically presenting fever, sore throat cough, body aches, and runny nose history and is a type of influenza virus, which we see every year during this time of the year. But it is a virus with changes over time, it mutates over time and what we call an antigenic drift,” said Randeep Guleria. “We had a pandemic many years ago of H1N1. That circulating strain of that virus is now H3N2 and therefore it is a normal influenza strain. But we are seeing more cases because as the virus mutates a little bit, the immunity that we had against the virus becomes a little less and therefore people who are susceptible tend to get infection more easily,” Dr Guleria explained.”It spreads through droplets. However, I think there is not that much of a cause of concern because although the number of cases increased hospitalisation has not gone up to a very large extent,” he had added.

H3N2 Influenza: Who Are Most At Risk?

The infection can be seen in children under 15 years of age, and in senior citizens over 65 years of age, Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar told reporters a few days back. Pregnant women are also more likely to get infected. He said that the spread of the infection can be tackled through measures such as cleanliness, preventing crowding, and hand hygiene.

Warning Against Antibiotics

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) had also, a few days back, asked people to avoid antibiotics.


The IMA pointed out that people have started taking antibiotics like Athreycin and Amoxiclav etc without caring for dose and frequency and they stop once they start feeling better. They added that “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 wrote.

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