Maharashtra Health Minister Tanaji Sawant said there is no need to panic as H3N2 is not fatal and can be cured by medical treatment.
Maharashtra reported its first suspected death due to H3N2 virus after two people died in Ahmednagar and Nagpur. The first suspected death was reported in Ahmednagar where an MBBS student died on March 14. The youth had tested positive for both COVID and H3N2, News 18 reported. However, there has been no official confirmation of the same.
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Meanwhile, News 18 Marathi reported another death due to H3N2 in Nagpur. It said a 78-year-old patient infected with H3N2 influenza had died in the city. The patient was said to have diabetes along with other hypertension.
'Wear masks, don't go outside'
Maharashtra Health Minister Tanaji Sawant H3N2 virus is spreading in the state, but there is no need to worry. He urged people to wear masks, maintain social distancing and to not go in crowded areas. "Reduce going to crowded places, use masks, wash hands and maintain distance, consult doctor only if you have fever etc," he added.
"All the hospitals have been asked to be on alert. Yesterday, there was a meeting of the Health Department, in the presence of the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister, the state health minister said was quoted by ANI as saying.
'H3N2 is not fatal'
As the deaths came to the light, Sawant said 352 patients of the H3N2 virus have been reported so far in the state. "Their treatment is going on and hospitals have been asked to be on alert," he said. The state health minister added that there is no need to panic as H3N2 is not fatal and can be cured by medical treatment.
Amid rising H3N2 cases, an expert said that the "cocktail of viruses" in the air, which has increased infection from H3N2, Type B influenza, adenovirus and COVID-19, is not alarming but a usual trend. "These are seasonal influenza viruses," National Influenza Centre (NIC) head Varsha Potdar was quoted by News 18 as saying.
H3N2 scare in India
India has so far confirmed two deaths due to H3N2 - one in Karnataka and another in Haryana.
On Tuesday, a 58-year-old woman died due to flu-like symptoms at a state-run hospital in Vadodara city of Gujarat. Her samples were sent for testing and a review committee will determine the exact cause of the woman's death.
The Union Health Ministry said that the cases are expected to decline by March-end. It assured of keeping a close watch on the seasonal influenza situation in various states and union territories through the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) network on a real-time basis.
A press release from the health ministry said that children and the elderly with co-morbidities are the most vulnerable groups in the context of seasonal influenza.
First Published: Mar 15, 2023 12:44 PM IST
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