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India Reports First H3N2 Influenza Death Amid Rise in Cases: What To Know

One person in Karnataka, and another in Haryana have reportedly died from complications linked to the h3N2 flu virus

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An 82-year-old man, in Karnataka, has reportedly died of complications linked to the H3N2 influenza virus, according to officials in the Health Department.

According to the District Health Officer of Hassan, in Karnataka, Hire Gowda who died on 1 March is the first confirmed case of deaths from the virus that has been reported in the country.

Gowda who was admitted to the hospital on February 24 after presenting severe flu-like symptoms. Blood test samples confirmed he was infected by the H3N2 virus on March 6, 5 days after his death.

He was a patient of diabetes and hypertension, reported news agency PTI.

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Influenza Cases in India on the Rise

Cases of severe flu-like symptoms have been doing the rounds in the country for the last couple of months.

Last week, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) put out an advisory saying that surveillance data suggests, H3N2 subtype of Influenza A virus is likely behind this unseasonal spike in respiratory illness.

The most common symptoms being reported are,

  • Fever

  • Sore throat

  • Runny nose

  • Persistent cough

  • Breathlessness

According to experts, H3N2 seems to be causing more hospitalisations than other influenza virus strains, with some patients even presenting signs of pneumonia.

According to the Karnataka Health Minister, Dr K Sudhakar, the Central Government will continue to track the spread of the virus.

How Can You Protect Yourself?

The ICMR also put out a list of Dos and Don'ts to help prevent catching the infection.

Remember to,

  • Wash your hands thoroughly from time to time

  • Wear a well-fitted face mask in public, especially if you have flu-like symptoms

  • Cover your mouth and nose while sneezing and coughing

  • Stay hydrated

...And, Don't,

  • Shake hands

  • Spit in public

  • Touch your face

  • Self-medicate with antibiotics

  • Eat while sitting close to others

ICMR has also advised doctors against prescribing antibiotics, and only recommend symptomatic treatment, for fear of perpetuating antibiotic misuse and resistance.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  Flu   Influenza 

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