H3N2 Cases in Odisha Rise to 61
Bhubaneswar: Two fresh H3N2-positive cases have been detected from 62 samples tested this month in Odisha, taking the total to 61.
According to ICMR-Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC), Bhubaneswar, these cases have been detected between January 1 and March 14. The state had reported 59 cases till March 1 when tests were conducted on 225 samples. Following which, the Odisha government intensified its ILI (influenza-like illness) and SARI (severe acute respiratory infections) surveillance system. An advisory was also issued for the public to maintain personal hygiene and avoid crowded places. Surveillance at the health facility level and community level has also been increased to control the spread of H3N2, which is a subtype of influenza.
“People infected with H3N2 virus exhibit symptoms similar to COVID-19. They suffer from fever, cough and breathlessness. People with these symptoms should go for COVID testing first. If their report for COVID is negative, they can go for H3N2 virus testing,” Public Health Director Niranjan Mishra had said, adding that there was nothing to worry about this influenza-like illness.
He further said that comorbidity conditions are particularly at risk and vulnerable to H3N2 and other viruses. “This virus will not create any major problem for normal and healthy people. If the symptoms do not subside even after eight days, they should take proper medical help. Sometimes pneumonia creates problems for the patients,” he added.
On Wednesday, the Health Department issued an awareness pamphlet on H3N2 virus on its social media handles, asking people not to shake hands with others, avoid touching their nose and mouth with dirty hands and spitting at public places. They have also been advised against using over-the-counter drugs without consulting a physician.