H3N2 influenza cases expected to decline from March end, says Health Ministry
New Delhi, March 10: Union Health Ministry on Friday said that cases of H3N2 influenza, which has claimed one death each in Haryana and Karnataka, are expected to decline from March end. This comes amid rising cases of the H3N2 virus across the country.
"India every year witnesses two peaks of seasonal influenza: one from January to March and the other in the post-monsoon season. The cases arising from seasonal influenza are expected to decline from March end," the Union Health Ministry said.
Seasonal influenza is an acute respiratory infection caused by influenza viruses that circulate throughout the world, with cases increasing during specific months.
The release by the health ministry also said that the real-time surveillance of cases of Influenza-like Illness (ILI) and Severe Acute Respiratory Infections (SARI) presenting in OPDs and IPDs of health facilities is undertaken by Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP), National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
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According to the most recent data available on the IDSP-IHIP (integrated health Information Platform), the states reported 3038 laboratory-confirmed cases of various subtypes of influenza, including H3N2, through March 9. There were 1,245 cases in January, 1,307 in February, and 486 cases as of March 9.
Furthermore, IDSP-IHIP data from health facilities show that in January 2023, the country reported 397,814 cases of Acute Respiratory Illness/Influenza Like Illness (ARI/ILI), which increased slightly to 436,523 in February 2023. This number stands at 133,412 cases in the first nine days of March 2023.
The corresponding data for admitted cases of severe acute respiratory illness (SARI) in January 2023 is 7041 cases, 6919 cases in February 2023, and 1866 cases in the first nine days of March 2023.
A total of 955 H1N1 cases had been reported as of February 28. Tamil Nadu has reported the most H1N1 cases (545), followed by Maharashtra (170), Gujarat (74), Kerala (42) and Punjab (28).
According to the report, Karnataka and Haryana have confirmed one H3N2 influenza death each.
The Ministry is also keeping a close eye on morbidity and mortality associated with the H3N2 subtype of seasonal influenza.
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