The government said today that two people have died of influenza caused by the H3N2 virus. One person died in Haryana, while the other died in Karnataka. An 82-year-old man from Hassan, Karnataka, is believed to be the country’s first H3N2 death. According to officials, Hire Gowda was brought to the hospital on 24 February and died on 1 March. He was reportedly a diabetic and had high blood pressure.
Around 90 cases of the H3N2 virus have been detected in the country. In addition, eight cases of the H1N1 virus have been identified. Flu cases have been on the rise in the country in recent months. The H3N2 virus, popularly known as “Hong Kong flu,” is responsible for most of the illness. This virus is responsible for more hospitalizations in the country than any other influenza strain.
So far, only H3N2 and H1N1 infections have been identified in India. Both had COVID-like symptoms, infecting millions of people worldwide and killing 6.8 million. Rising flu infections two years after the outbreak began have fueled public concern.
Symptoms include a persistent cough, fever, chills, shortness of breath, and wheezing. Individuals have also complained of nausea, sore throats, body aches, and diarrhea. These symptoms can last up to a week. According to scientists, this virus is highly contagious and spreads through coughing, sneezing, and close contact with an infected person.
Doctors have urged COVID-like measures, including washing hands and wearing masks. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) recommends covering the mouth and nose while sneezing or coughing, drinking plenty of fluids, not touching one’s eyes or nose, and taking paracetamol for fever and body aches.
Infection can be severe in high-risk populations such as older individuals and young children, as well as individuals who have a weakened immune system due to ongoing medical problems. The Indian Medical Association has advised doctors not to prescribe antibiotics to patients before the infection is confirmed, as they may develop resistance.