On Monday, Gujarat reported its first death from the H3N2 influenza virus. According to health officials, a 58-year-old woman contracted the H3N2 influenza virus and died in Gujarat. She was getting treated at SSG hospital in Vadodara. This case brings India's death toll from the H3N2 virus to 7, with the first reported death being an 82-year-old man from Karnataka's Hassan district.
According to data shared by the Health Ministry on Friday, India has reported 451 cases of the H3N2 virus between January 2 and March 5. The Ministry is closely monitoring the situation, and the cases are expected to decline by the end of this month.
As per India Today, H3N2 and other influenza infections are seasonal, and the government is looking into measures to control the spike in cases. The virus is typically found in pigs and is a non-human influenza virus that has now infected humans, according to a report by the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has issued an advisory asking people to avoid self-medication and the use of antibiotics in case of contracting the virus. Symptoms include fever for 3 to 5 days, persistent cough, chills, breathlessness, wheezing, runny nose, nausea, sore throat, body ache, and diarrhea in some cases.
Experts say the virus spreads through coughing, sneezing, and close contact with an infected person and is highly contagious. Doctors advise wearing masks in crowded places, practicing physical distancing, and frequently washing hands as the best way to avoid getting infected by the virus.
Watch: H3N2 influenza claims 6 lives in India: How it spreads, symptoms, precautions, and more
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