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Reducing the influenza burden for affected individuals, caregivers, and health systems is a national priority which can be supported by driving awareness on prevention measures, writes Dr Jejoe Karankumar, Medical Director, Abbott India.
While every Indian winter sees an increase in flu cases, this year saw a particularly marked spike in flu infections. Reports by the World Health Organisation based on January 2023 data suggest an increase in the number of influenza A (H3N2) cases in India.
This recent increase in flu cases has been seen across various age groups, affecting children, the middle-aged population, and the elderly alike – although the intensity of symptoms differs. Young children under 5 years of age, older adults above 65 years of age, and people with comorbid conditions (like diabetes, kidney, heart, or liver disease, asthma, blood disorders, and other immunocompromised individuals) fall under the ‘at-risk’ group and are more prone to complications.
Reducing the influenza burden for affected individuals, caregivers, and health systems is a national priority which can be supported by driving awareness on prevention measures. As influenza is a vaccine-preventable disease, one of the large-scale preventive steps we can take is to encourage more people to get the flu shot every year. This can help reduce health complications, costs associated with medical visits, medication, hospitalisation, and even working days lost. To prevent, we must protect.