59 H3N2 influenza cases in Odisha.

Bhubaneswar: From January 2 to March 5, 451 cases of H3N2 have been reported in the country, the Union Health Ministry has revealed. It advised people to wear masks and those suffering from cold and cough should cover their face with cloth or handkerchief.

Odisha recorded 59 H3N2 influenza cases in two months

First Published Mar 12, 2023, 9:34 AM IST

Odisha reports 59 H3N2 influenza cases: Influenza cases are increasing in many parts of the country. The government has stated that the number of influenza cases of H3N2 sub-variant is being reported in Odisha as well. Officials said that 59 H3N2 influenza cases have been registered. Out of 225 samples collected in January and February in Odisha, 59 people were infected with H3N2 influenza, officials said on Saturday. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), H3N2 is the most common type of influenza virus that infects animals rather than humans. It usually spreads in pigs. There is no chance of infecting humans, but the symptoms are similar to those of seasonal flu viruses. Other symptoms include fever, respiratory distress symptoms, body aches, nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea, along with cough and runny nose.

Director of Bhubaneswar Regional Medical Research Center Sanghamitra Pati said that 59 cases of H3N2 influenza were detected in 225 samples collected in January and February in Odisha. The symptoms are similar to seasonal flu viruses, including fever and cough, he said. Odisha Public Health Director Niranjan Mishra told the media that currently, there is no exact treatment available for the virus and people should strictly follow the Covid guidelines to avoid getting infected with H3N2. As India confirms its first two deaths due to the influenza virus, there is a need to increase surveillance and precautionary measures to prevent H3N2, experts say.

82-year-old Heere Gowda, who was suffering from hypertension in Karnataka, died on March 1 due to seasonal influenza subtype. In Haryana, a 56-year-old lung cancer patient has died due to influenza H3N2. The Union Health Ministry has revealed that 451 H3N2 cases have been reported in the country from January 2 to March 5. It advised that people should wear masks and those suffering from cold and cough should cover their face with a cloth or handkerchief.

Letter to states

The Union Health Ministry has expressed concern over the gradual increase in the rate of covid positivity among H3N2 influenza cases. All States and Union Territories have been directed to follow comprehensive surveillance operational guidelines to detect cases of influenza-like illness or acute respiratory infection. Also, states have been asked to review the preparedness of hospitals like medicines, availability of medical oxygen, vaccination coverage against Covid-19 and influenza. Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan in a letter written to states and Union Territories on Saturday said that despite the significant reduction in the spread of Covid-19 over the past few months, the gradual increase in Covid-19 test positivity rates in some states is a matter of concern and needs to be addressed immediately.

Last Updated Mar 12, 2023, 9:34 AM IST

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