59 H3N2 virus cases detected in Odisha, Know its symptoms and precaution

According to the RMRC director, the health workers had tested the sample of 225 people in the month of January and February this year.

Bhubaneswar: Sanghamitra Pati, the director of the Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC) in Bhubaneswar, informed that as many as 59 H3N2 influenza cases were found in Odisha.

According to the RMRC director, the health workers had tested the sample of 225 people in the month of January and February this year. However, 59 of them were found to be positive for the influenza.

The H3N2 virus is now gradually spreading its wing after the corona epidemic. It has created concern among the citizens of the country as two deaths of the H3N2 virus have been reported in India, one each from Haryana and Karnataka.

Taking a serious note of the fresh reports of the H3N2 virus in Odisha, State Public Health Director Niranjan Mishra created awareness among the people regarding the virus, its symptoms and precaution needed to be taken to prevent the virus.

Mishra said that the H3N2 virus usually becomes more effective on rainy days or during weather changes. It infects and debilitates the human body. This virus, which affects the human nose, throat, and lungs, can be fatal. The two deaths reported in Haryana and Karnataka are the examples of how deadly is the virus.

What is the H3N2 virus?

  • H3N2v is a non-human influenza virus that normally circulates in pigs and that has infected humans. Viruses that normally circulate in pigs are “swine influenza viruses.” When these viruses infect humans, they are termed “variant” viruses.
  • In 2011, a specific H3N2 virus was detected with genes from avian, swine and human viruses and the 2009 H1N1 pandemic virus M gene.
  • The virus was circulating in pigs in 2010 and was first detected in people in 2011. The acquisition of the 2009 M gene may make this virus infect humans more easily than is typical for other swine influenza viruses.
  • The FluView Interactive Novel Flu A tool reflects the most current case counts for variant virus infections reported in the United States since 2010.

How can a person catch the flu virus from a pig?

  • Influenza viruses can spread from pigs to people and from people to pigs. Spread from infected pigs to humans is thought to happen in the same way that seasonal influenza viruses spread between people; mainly through infected droplets created when an infected pig coughs or sneezes.
  • If these droplets land in your nose or mouth, or you inhale them, you can be infected. There also is some evidence that you might get infected by touching something that has virus on it and then touching your own mouth or nose.
  • A third possible way to get infected is to inhale particles containing influenza virus. Scientists aren’t really sure which of these ways of spread is the most common.

What are the symptoms of H3N2v?

  • Symptoms of H3N2v infection are similar to those of seasonal flu viruses and can include fever and respiratory symptoms, such as cough and runny nose, and possibly other symptoms, such as body aches, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Is H3N2v dangerous?

  • Currently, the severity of human illness associated with H3N2v resembles that of seasonal flu.
  • Keep in mind that even seasonal influenza can be a serious disease. Sometimes seasonal influenza can lead to complications (like pneumonia). It also can lead to hospitalization and even death.

Preventive Actions:

CDC Recommendations For People At High Risk:

  • If you are at high risk of serious flu complications and are going to a fair where pigs will be present, avoid pigs and swine barns at the fair. This includes children younger than 5 years, people 65 years and older, pregnant women, and people with certain long-term health conditions (like asthma, diabetes, heart disease, weakened immune systems, and neurological or neurodevelopmental conditions).

If you are not at high risk, take these precautions:

  • Don’t take food or drink into pig areas; don’t eat, drink or put anything in your mouth in pig areas.
  • Don’t take toys, pacifiers, cups, baby bottles, strollers, or similar items into pig areas.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and running water before and after exposure to pigs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid close contact with pigs that look or act ill.
  • Take protective measures if you must come in contact with pigs that are known or suspected to be sick. This includes wearing personal protective equipment like protective clothing, gloves and masks that cover your mouth and nose when contact is required.
  • To further reduce the risk of infection, minimize contact with pigs in the pig barn and arenas.

(With inputs from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

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