Respiratory Disorders / RTI

What is Influenza A H3N2 Virus? Will it cause another pandemic?

Influenza A H3N2 Virus

Recently, the number of people infected with the influenza virus subtype H3N2 has suddenly increased in several locations throughout the world. Influenza A H3N2 Virus is a seasonal virus, and the risk of this infections typically increases as the seasons change. Karnataka has reported the first casualty of the influenza A H3N2 in India out of the total 2 deaths. 

Influenza A H3N2 is known for its fastest-spreading nature. In 2023, it has already contributed to numerous seasonal flu outbreaks. We will outline all the symptoms and ill effects of the H3N2 virus in this article.

What is Influenza A H3N2 virus? Symptoms, diagnosis and who are at risk ?

Seasonal influenza is an acute respiratory infection brought on by influenza viruses, according to the WHO. Seasonal influenza viruses come in four different subtypes: A, B, C, and D. The influenza A and B viruses spread and result in yearly outbreaks of illness. The hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA), two proteins found on the surface of influenza A viruses, are combined to form subtypes of the virus.

How can one get infected with H3N2 virus?

People typically contract influenza viruses through contact with infected pigs. Individuals who raise pigs in their farms and in their homes become infected with the H3N2 virus through airborne droplets produced when infected pigs cough, sneeze, or come into touch with them physically. The influenza virus may enter your body through body orifices like your mouth, nose, holes, eyes, ears, or if you breathe the same contaminated air. You can also catch the infection easily by coming into contact with another infected individual. 

In symptomatic cases, ICMR scientists said patients should wash hands with soap and water, wear masks and avoid crowded places, cover mouth and nose while sneezing and coughing, avoid touching eyes and nose, take plenty of fluids and take conservative treatments for fever and body ache. 

Main Symptoms of H3N2 includes – 

  • Fever – Fever is the primary symptom in the majority of H3N2 patients. Fever is a physical symptom that indicates your body is attempting to combat and eradicate any foreign matter.
  • Cough – Cough is another H3N2 symptom that appears in the early stage and may last for several days.
  • Fatigue and Headache – Unlike other viral infections, weakness and headache is part of all viral infections
  • Muscle aches – Muscle aches are exhibited mostly in your back and legs.
  • Sore throat – Throat pain and infections occur in H3N2. In severe cases, the patient may experience discomfort in chest, difficulty in swallowing. 
  • Nasal congestion may be associated with the above symptoms.

Let’s see the risk categories  here –

  • Children younger than 5 yrs and Adults elder than 65 years of age.
  • Individuals diagnosed with Asthma
  • People with neurological conditions
  • People with blood disorders (such as sickle cell disease)
  • People with chronic lung disease (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD])

Note, generally this infection is self-limiting and lasts for about 5-7 days with minimal morbidity and mortality.

H3N2 virus can be diagnosed through laboratory testing. “The sample for laboratory testing of H3N2 is similar to the sample collected for COVID-19 testing that is the nasal swab and pharyngeal swab.

What can we do to prevent these infection in Ayurveda?

  • Wear mask when you step out of home
  • Maintain good hygiene. Wash your hands, face and feet after coming back from outside.
  • Always remember to take steam inhalation after coming back from crowd or outside your premises. You can use eucalyptus oil or fresh Pudina (Mint) leaves or Ajwain (Caraway seeds) if required. 
  • Drink warm water throughout the day. You can add Tulsi or Pepper mint to the water as they are anti-bacterial in nature. 
  • Spices like Haldi (Turmeric), Jeera (Cumin), Dhaniya (Coriander) and Lasuna (Garlic) are recommended in cooking. 
  • Drink herbal tea / decoction (Kadha) made from Tulsi (Basil), Dalchini (Cinnamon), Kalimirchi (Black pepper), Shunthi (Dry Ginger) and Munakka (Raisin) – once or twice a day. Add jaggery (natural sugar) and / or fresh lemon juice to your taste, if needed. 
  • Golden milk – Turmeric with milk can be consumed daily, if the patient does not suffer from cold or severe mucous conditions. They can consume turmeric with honey as an alternative.
  • Instill 2 drops of  sesame oil or coconut oil or Anu taila in both the  nostrils in morning and evening. 
  • Chew Lavanga (clove), if you have any minor irritations to the throat or difficulty in swallowing.
  • In case of rise in temperature, use Amritarishtam, Sudharshana ghana Vati, Amruthotharam Kashayam to quick rescue. 
  • Mahalakshmi Vilasa Rasa, and Sitopaladi churnam in appropriate doses helps to fight the symptoms of cold and throat infection
  • Ayurveda One Immunoj is a best solution to improve immunity and keep yourself away from any infections.

Remember, it is always better to take right help from consulting doctors or healthcare setups than treating yourself. You can reach us here for the online consultation here – https://www.ayurcentralonline.comdoctors/

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