What’S Latest On H3n2 Infection And Covid Cases In India

The Union Department of Health has raised concerns about the rise in the COVID positivity rate in some states. The statement came amid a wave of H3N2 cases of the seasonal influenza virus.

India recorded 524 new COVID-19 cases after a gap of 113 days, while active cases rose to 3,618, according to Union Health Ministry data updated on Sunday. The death toll from the infection rose to 5,30,781, with one death being matched by Kerala, data updated on Sunday said. The total number of COVID cases was recorded as 4.46 crore (4,46,90,492).

Earlier, the Union Ministry of Health had raised concerns about the rise in the COVID positivity rate. It states: “While the COVID-19 trajectory has decreased significantly in recent months, the gradual increase in COVID-19 test positivity rates in some states is a worrying issue that needs to be addressed immediately.

“There remains a need to remain vigilant and focused on the five-fold strategy of testing, tracking, treating, vaccinating and adhering to appropriate COVID behavior,” Union Health Minister Rajesh Bhushan said in a letter on Saturday the states and UTs.

This came as India witnessed a surge in H3N2 cases of the seasonal influenza virus. The country on Friday reported two deaths from the infection – one each in Karnataka and Haryana. H3N2 is a non-human influenza virus that normally circulates in pigs and has infected humans, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Here’s a look at some recent developments on the matter:

1. Of the 225 samples collected in Odisha in January and February, 59 were found positive for H3N2 flu in the state. The state government therefore urged district authorities to step up ILI and SARI surveillance and suggested citizens to maintain personal hygiene and avoid crowded places, a senior official was quoted as saying PTI as said.

3. Gujarat has reported three cases of seasonal influenza subtype H3N2 and no deaths this year, Health Minister Rushikesh Patel said.

4. According to rough estimates, six out of ten visits to the doctor due to illness have flu-like symptoms, news 18 reported.

5. From January 2 to March 5, 451 cases of H3N2 were reported in the country, according to data shared by the Union Health Ministry on Friday.

6. The Union Ministry of Health said on Friday it was closely monitoring the situation and cases were expected to decline from the end of the month. States have also been asked to assess hospital preparedness, including the availability of medication, medical oxygen, and influenza and Covid-19 immunization coverage.

7. Experts warned that children and the elderly are the most vulnerable to contracting seasonal flu, including the H3N2 virus.

8th. People must wear masks and for those suffering from cold and cough, covering face with cloth or handkerchiefs is a must, a recent recommendation said. There is a need for increased surveillance and precautionary measures to ward off H3N2, but no need to panic just yet, experts said as India confirmed its first two deaths from the influenza virus.

9. The Indian Medical Association (IMA) had previously expressed concern about the overuse of antibiotics as cases of cough, cold and fever rise in the country. Read more about it here

10 Classic symptoms of this flu are the acute onset of high-grade fever with body aches, headaches and a runny nose. While the cough increases as the fever subsides, the illness lasts about eight to 10 days. Occasional stomach upsets, such as wobbling and vomiting, have also been reported in those infected.

(With inputs from PTI)


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