H3N2 is a subtype of the influenza A virus that can cause seasonal flu in humans. The virus constantly changes and adapts, making it difficult to predict and control. The H3N2 Influenza virus has been responsible for several flu pandemics, including the 1968 pandemic that caused an estimated one million deaths worldwide.
The symptoms of H3N2 are similar to those of other types of flu, including fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, and fatigue. In severe cases, it can lead to pneumonia, respiratory failure, and even death. Symptoms usually appear within 1-4 days after exposure to the virus.
H3N2 is highly contagious and is spread through the air by coughing and sneezing. The virus can also be spread by touching contaminated surfaces and then touching your nose, mouth, or eyes. It is important to take precautions to prevent the spread of H3N2, such as washing your hands regularly, covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
The Indian Medical Association has advised people not to panic and avoid taking antibiotics like azithromycin and amoxicillin without consulting a doctor as this can result in antibiotic resistance. However, if anyone is infected with influenza H3N2, they can practise the below-mentioned steps to recover faster.
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Take ample rest
- Follow the doctor’s advice and medications to relieve symptoms
- Consume home-cooked, low-spice, and low-fat food
- Avoid high-sugar or high-sodium food to prevent dehydration
- Take steam to relieve chest congestion
- Do warm saline gargling to relieve sore throat
The most effective way to prevent H3N2 infection is through vaccination. The flu vaccine contains inactivated H3N2 viruses, which stimulate the immune system to produce antibodies that can fight off the virus. It is recommended that everyone over the age of 6 months receive an annual flu vaccine, especially those at high risk for complications, such as young children, elderly adults, pregnant women, and people with certain medical conditions.
H3N2 is a serious respiratory virus that can cause flu-like symptoms and even lead to severe complications. Taking preventive measures such as regular handwashing, covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and getting an annual flu vaccine can help reduce your risk of contracting the virus. If you do get sick with H3N2, prompt medical attention and treatment can help reduce the severity and duration of symptoms and prevent complications.