Doctors warn that the symptoms can last for days and can be severe for people with low immunity and the elderly. Time to follow the COVID protocol.
A flu-like situation has gripped most parts of the country. Almost everyone knows someone who is suffering from fever, cough, runny nose and body ache.
While flu is not uncommon at this time of the year when the weather changes from extremely cold to warm, this is not the seasonal flu warn experts.
“This is caused by H3N2, an influenza virus. Symptoms are similar to those of seasonal flu viruses and can include fever, cold, cough, runny nose, and possibly other symptoms such as body aches, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhoea.
In severe cases, it can cause respiratory distress,” says Dr Umang Agrawal, Infectious Diseases Consultant, PD Hinduja Hospital & MRC, Mahim.
Air pollution is also playing a significant role in increasing the number of patients affected by viral diseases.
So, how serious is the H3N2 virus? “Technically anyone who comes in contact with the virus can contract this disease.
Most people with normal immunity will manifest symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection. However, this particular virus can cause severe complications with certain high-risk groups.
These include patients with pre-existing lung diseases such as COPD, asthma, smokers, diabetics, patients who are immunocompromised or those who have low immunity, and patients above 65 years of age,” says Dr Agrawal.
The H3N2 virus can be extremely contagious and is transmitted from an infected person to another through droplets released when coughing, sneezing, or talking.
It can also spread if someone touches their mouth or nose after contacting a surface that had the virus on it.
Pregnant women, young children, elderly adults, and persons with underlying medical issues are at a higher risk of flu-related complications.