Influenza A H3N2 is a subtype of a virus that attacks your respiratory system. Although the flu can often go away on its own in mild cases, other forms of influenza A can be harmful and lead to large-scale outbreaks and illnesses.
A recent news report says, "There's a sudden rise in the number of cases of Influenza A H3N2 in many parts of India. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is concerned that an intense cough lasting over a week with a fever that is noticed in most parts of the country can be linked to Influenza A H3N2."
Mumbai-based physician Altaf Patel sees at least ten patients every day with suspected flu. “The cases have certainly risen, and patients are presenting with breathlessness and severe episodes of spasmodic cough. Some patients are showing symptoms for as long as 10 to 12 days,” observed Dr. Patel.
Common signs of Influenza A H3N2 virus:
- Intense coughing
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Body aches
Types A and B influenza are common infections, frequently cause seasonal outbreaks. Type A influenza can be dangerous because it mutates faster than type B. Older adults, children and people with weak immune system are at higher risk.
Treatment for Influenza A H3N2 virus is to rest and drinking plenty of fluids, and doctors may prescribe antiviral medicines to fight the infections.
The ICMR has also advised patients to avoid the intake of antibiotics or any other medication without consulting a doctor.
Preventive measures must be taken because the influenza A H3N2 virus is highly contagious and can spread from person to person through droplets generated when an infected person talks, coughs, or sneezes.
- Wash your hand regularly
- Avoid going in a crowds, specifically during a flu outbreak
- Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze (wear mask)
- Avoid contact with sick people
- Stay home if you have fever for more than 24 hrs