H3N2 virus can be serious for those with low immunity, multiple comorbidities
New Delhi, March 6: Amid rising cases of H3N2 virus, the Union Health Ministry conducted a meeting of top health officials of big hospitals and experts. With Covid cases under subsidence in the country, the viral infection due to H3N2 influenza has risen significantly.
Among others who attended the meeting was Medical Director of Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital Dr Ajay Shukla. After the meeting, Dr Shukla said the Director General, Health Services, presided over a meeting with all senior persons from central government hospitals, including RML, Safdarjung, Lady Hardinge. The meeting was also attended by experts from medicine and pulmonary medicine departments.
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He said the virus could be serious for those who had low immunity or multiple comorbidities.
He urged the general public to take precautionary measures, including wearing masks in crowded places. "What we decided is that if people continue mass gathering, especially in areas where there's a higher risk of infection, like hospitals because a lot of patients come with different infections to hospitals, then keeping a mask will be good for them because the mask not only prevents Covid, it also prevents other viral infections," he said.
Stating that health officials are also considering rolling out a vaccination campaign for such viruses, he said it was also important to follow healthy practices such as washing hands, just like the people did during the COVID period.
"Following healthy practices like sanitation, washing your hands, and wearing a mask is what can help in this and we are also thinking on whether we should start vaccination for these viruses because a lot many countries like the US and a lot of European countries, give regular vaccination for given influenza virus because the stream changes rapidly. So each year, they immunize people. And the idea is to protect people from these viruses," he said.
"All viral fevers have almost similar symptoms. You can have a runny nose, you can have a mild cough. You can have fever, you can have body aches, headaches, it's common symptoms. It's very difficult to differentiate at the beginning which viral infection you have. So for that, we have to do certain tests. But the ICMR etc. have done these studies and have found out that the infection currently that's going on, which is rampant is the H3N2, and that is not covid," Dr Shukla added.
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