This article covers “Daily Current Affairs” and the topic details Influenza A virus subtype H3N2. Influenza A virus subtype H3N2 is a subtype of influenza-causing viruses that has claimed 2 lives in India. The government has brought out a plan to control the ensuing health crisis.


For Prelims:

  • About H3N2.
  • Symptoms and cure.
  • About influenza and its effect on humans and animals.

For Mains:

a) GS 2 – Health and Nutrition.

b) GS 3 – Science and Technology.

i) Government Efforts to control H3N2.

ii) WHO’s directives.

iii) India’s preparatory capabilities to deal with such outbreaks

For Prelims:

a.   About H3N2.

b.   Symptoms and cure.

c.   About influenza and its effect on humans and animals.

For Mains:

a.   GS 2 – Health and Nutrition.

b.   GS 3 – Science and Technology.

i)  Government Efforts to control H3N2.

ii) WHO’s directives.

iii) India’s preparatory capabilities to deal with such outbreaks.

Why in news: Recently, the H3N2 virus has claimed two lives since mid-December last year. After a nationwide surveillance exercise, the Ministry said it had found at least 451 confirmed cases of the H3N2 virus since the beginning of this year.

What is the H3N2 virus?

h3n2 fluh3n2 flu

●     Influenza is a kind of viral infection that mainly affects the respiratory system. It is caused by the influenza virus, which is highly contagious and can spread easily from person to person through respiratory droplets generated when an infected person talks, coughs, or sneezes.

●     H3N2 virus is a subtype of the Influenza A virus. It is also known as the “Hong Kong flu” for its first detection in Hong Kong back in 1968.

●     H3N2 is a highly contagious virus that spreads easily from person to person through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

●     H3N2 is known to cause more severe illness and death than other strains of the flu, particularly in older adults and people with weakened immune systems. The virus can also cause complications such as pneumonia, bronchitis, and sinus infections.

Facts related to the H3N2 virus

  • Spread: The H3N2 influenza virus is highly contagious and can easily spread through the following:

a) It can get transmitted from person to person contact via respiratory droplets which are generated when an infected person talks, coughs, or sneezes.

b) By inhaling droplets from the air when they are in close proximity to an infected person.

  •  Symptoms: H3N2 are similar to those of other strains of influenza and may include:

a) Fever

b) Cough

c) Sore throat

d) Runny or stuffy nose

e) Muscle or body aches

f) Headache

g) Fatigue

h) Chills

I) Nausea and vomiting (more common in children)

  • Treatment: The treatment of the virus depends on the severity of symptoms and the presence of any complications. Mild cases of H3N2 infection can be managed with rest, fluids, and over-the-counter medications to relieve symptoms such as fever, cough, and sore throat. Precautions: Prevention is key in avoiding H3N2 infection.

a) Getting vaccinated against the flu each year is the best way to prevent getting infected with the H3N2 virus.

b) Other preventive measures include practicing good hygiene, such as washing your hands frequently, covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and avoiding close contact with people who are sick.

  • Vulnerable groups

a) Individuals in the age group 15-50 years.

b) Children.

c) People with co-morbidities like asthma, diabetes, heart disease, weakened immune systems, and neurological or neurodevelopmental conditions.

  • Drugs for this virus

a) There is no specific drug that can cure H3N2 or any other strain of the flu virus. However, there are antiviral medications available that can preempt the severity and complications.

b) The most commonly prescribed antiviral medications for the flu are Oseltamivir (Tamiflu), Zanamivir (Relenza), and Peramivir (Rapivab).

c) These medications work by blocking the influenza virus from multiplying in the body, which can help to shorten the duration of illness and reduce the severity of symptoms.

influenza h3n2

influenza h3n2

Indian Government on Influenza Outbreak

The Ministry of Health is taking appropriate measures to control the spread of influenza and provide necessary medical assistance to those affected.

  • Real-time surveillance through a countrywide network of labs: A total of 3038 laboratory-confirmed cases of various subtypes of Influenza including H3N2 have been reported till 9th March 2023 by the States. The surveillance network comprised 27 DHR-ICMR Virus Research & Diagnostic Laboratories.
  • Guidelines on seasonal Influenza: The Union Ministry of Health has provided guidelines on how to categorize patients and related protocols for treatment.

Drugs and Logistics

a) WHO recommends the drug Oseltamivir, which is provided for free through the Public Health System.

b) In February 2017, the Indian Government authorized the sale of Oseltamivir under Schedule H1 of the Drug and Cosmetic Act to make it more accessible and available.

c) The States have sufficient logistics in place, but the Government of India is prepared to assist in case of emergencies to help them manage the situation effectively.


Get current affairs from Yojna IAS

No Comments

Post A Comment