What is the H3N2 virus?
H3N2 influenza is a type of influenza virus that can cause respiratory illness in humans. It is a highly contagious respiratory illness that can cause mild to severe sickness, and in some cases, can be life-threatening, especially for those with underlying health conditions or weakened immune systems.
It is a seasonal virus, and the occurrence of this infection normally peaks during seasonal changes. In India, H3N2 cases are on the rise which has become a matter of serious concern for all. The drastically changing weather from severe cold to sudden warm temperatures are also a reason to blame.
Current Situation in India:
So far, India reported 9.66 lakh cases of flu in 2023, and 15,826 affected patients were hospitalized with severe acute respiratory
illness. Out of these, 451 were confirmed cases of H3N2, and two infected patients succumbed to the virus.
How is it spread?
H3N2 influenza is highly contagious and can spread in the following ways if adequate precautions and preventive measures are not followed.
- From person to person through droplets generated when an infected person talks, coughs, or sneezes.
- By touching a surface contaminated with the virus and then touching one’s mouth or nose.
The virus usually preys on individuals below the age of 15 years or above 50 years of age. Children and those with co-morbidities like asthma, diabetes, heart disease, weakened immune systems, and neurological or neurodevelopmental conditions are at a higher risk.