H3N2 Virus: A viral infection with Covid-like symptoms is circulating throughout India. It spreads easily and has led to a surge in influenza hospitalisations. So, here is what is it, and how to stay safe while playing Holi. H3N2 influenza, also known as the “Hong Kong flu,” is a subtype of the Influenza A virus that can cause respiratory illness in humans. According to the India Council of Medical Research (ICMR) H3N2 has resulted in more hospitalisations than other flu subtypes. 3N2 influenza is highly contagious. It can spread from person to person from an infected person.
Symptoms of the H3N2 virus
- Throat ache/ sire throat
- An ache in muscles and body
- Sneezing and runny nose
How to prevent H3N2 virus influenza?
You must take precautions to prevent H3N2 influenza, including being vaccinated each year, frequently washing hands with soap and water, avoiding contact with sick individuals, covering the mouth and nose while sneezing or coughing, and missing less time from school or work when ill.
How is it treated?
Resting, drinking lots of fluids, and using over-the-counter painkillers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen to lower fever are all part of the H3N2 influenza treatment regimen. If a patient has severe symptoms or is at a high risk of problems, a doctor may also recommend antiviral drugs such as oseltamivir and zanamivir.
How is it spread?
The extremely contagious H3N2 influenza can be transmitted from one person to another through droplets released when coughing, sneezing, or talking by an infected individual. It can also spread if someone touches their mouth or nose after contacting a surface that has the virus on it. Pregnant women, young children, elderly adults, and persons with underlying medical issues are at a higher risk of flu-related complications.
What are the do’s and don’ts?
You can lower your chances of catching the virus by following certain dos and don’ts. Here are some:
- Avoid crowded situations and use a face mask
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water
- Don’t touch your mouth or nose
- When sneezing and coughing, adequately cover your mouth and nose
- Use paracetamol when you have a fever and a body aches
- Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of liquids
- Spitting in public areas
- Use contact-based greetings such as shaking hands
- Self-medicating, Only after contacting a doctor should a patient use antibiotics or any other medications
- Eating while seated next to other people
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