Saturday, July 13, 2024

4-in-1 Flu Vaccination can help protect against H3N2and three other strains of Flu

Recent reports from ICMR show that cases of flu caused by the virus H3N2 is spreading across the country. This viral strain causes prolonged illness and has led to more hospitalizations than flu infections caused by other type of strains 1 . People whose immunity is weak are more likely to suffer from complications such as pneumonia, bronchitis, and seizures, where H3N2 can also be life-threatening in some cases. ICMR data show that in the past three months, 10% of SARI patients hospitalized with H3N2 complications needed oxygen and 7% required ICU care.

H3N2 is a sub-type of influenza A virus. Every year during seasonal changes, the temperature change causes flu viruses to rise and spread fast. Annually some subtypes spread more than others. All flu viruses, including H3N2, spread through an infected individual when they cough, sneeze, or talk. They can also spread when uninfected people touch an object or surface contaminated by these viruses and then touch their nose or mouth.

People most at risk for H3N2 and other strains of flu are children below 5 years of age, ageing adults, pregnant women, and those with chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma, kidney disease and heart disease. The main symptoms of flu infection are fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffed nose and headache & body aches. In H3N2 infection, the fever usually lasts for three days, but the cough can persist for 3 weeks.

Dr. Ashish Agrawal, MD, NEO Clinic, says, “Children tend to be susceptible to flu infection. With H3N2 cases on the rise, children below 5 are at a high risk. My advice to parents is to consult their paediatrician about 4in1 flu vaccination and follow hygiene & social distancing to protect them from H3N2 and 3 other sub-types of flu viruses.”

“The flu infection caused by the H3N2 virus may last longer and leads to more hospitalisations than other flu sub-types. Ageing adults, pregnant women and those who suffer from chronic diseases are at a high risk. 4-in-1 vaccination is one of the effective ways of being protected against H3N2 and 3 other sub-types of flu viruses. I advise to consult your local physician.”, says Dr. Shubhranshu, Chest Physician, Jeevan Rekha Hospital.

Various Health Authorities recommend seasonal flu vaccination for high-risk groups such as healthcare workers, pregnant women, people suffering from chronic diseases, older adults above 65 years of age and children between 6 months – 5 years of age .Other measures advised by doctors to prevent H3N2 flu and stop its spread are to wash hands frequently, use masks in crowded places and avoid contact with an infected person.

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