India reports first H3N2 deaths in Karnataka and Haryana; Centre says no need to panic

India has recorded its first two deaths due to the Influenza A subtype H3N2, one each from Karnataka and Haryana, official sources said on Friday.
Ninety cases of H3N2 have been reported so far, they said.
In Karnataka, 82-year-old Hire Gowda died due to the H3N2 virus on March 1, a state health department official said.
“It is confirmed that Hire Gowda, son of Halage Gowda, 82 years, died of H3N2 virus on March 1,” the Hassan Disrict Health Officer (DHO) told news agency.
The sources said another death has been reported from Haryana too.
Meanwhile, Union health ministry on Friday saying it is keeping a close watch on the situation and cases are expected to decline from month end.
From 2 January to 5 March, 451 cases of H3N2 have been reported in the country, according to data shared by the ministry. “It can be seen that Influenza H3N2 is the predominant subtype among the samples testing positive for influenza, since the beginning of this year,” it said.  The ministry is also tracking and keeping a close watch on morbidity and mortality due to the H3N2 subtype of the seasonal influenza, according to a statement.
“Young children and old age persons with comorbidities are the most vulnerable groups in context of seasonal influenza. So far, Karnataka and Haryana have confirmed one death each from H3N2 influenza,” the ministry said.
“India every year witnesses two peaks of seasonal influenza: one from Jan to March and other in post monsoon season. The cases arising from seasonal influenza are expected to decline from March end. State surveillance officers are therefore fully geared to meet this public health challenge,” the ministry said in the statement.
It said the ministry is monitoring and tracking cases across states through the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) network on real-time basis.

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