Home / News / India /  Amid H3N2 surge, Delhi LG to chair DDMA meeting today, CM Arvind Kejriwal to attend

Amid rising H3N2 influenza cases, Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena will chair a meeting with Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) today i.e. on 18 March. In the meeting, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Health Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj, Chief Secretary, Health Secretary and Other Senior officials of the Health Department will also be present.

Yesterday, Delhi Health Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj had issued an advisory advising children and the elderly to take special precautions. Although not many cases of this virus have been reported in the government hospitals of Delhi, strict instructions have been given to the District Surveillance Units, health facilities and government hospitals to monitor and prevent the spread of this seasonal influenza.

While addressing a press conference, Bharadwaj said, "This is the season of influenza. This type of seasonal influenza runs all over the world. At present, not many cases of influenza have been reported in the government hospitals of Delhi, so we do not need to panic and worry."

"We just have to be careful and responsible. Patients with flu-like symptoms and patients with severe respiratory complaints will be monitored in the OPD and IPD of hospitals in all districts of Delhi to ensure early screening. If early rising trends are seen anywhere, they will be detected well in time," he added.

Also Read: Suffering from fever and cough? How do you know its H3N2 or new COVID variant XBB 1.16

Bharadwaj said that currently H1N1 influenza and H3N2 influenza are spreading widely in the country. 

Generally, its first peak time comes from January to March and the second peak comes at the end of the monsoon. This peak decreases till the end of March. Earlier, the Union Ministry of Health had said that the cases arising from seasonal influenza including H3N2 are expected to decline from March end.

"This time, many patients with influenza are coming, whose medical history has diseases related to the lungs, serious conditions due to corona, and asthma, which is affecting them more. People are seeing symptoms like fever, cough for a long time, increased mucus production, watery nose, headache, body ache, etc. Elderly people above 65 years of age and children below 5 years of age need to be more careful with influenza. At the same time, people complaining of lung disease also need to be cautious," Delhi Health Minister said.

The doctors too said that the city hospitals are witnessing a spike in cases of H3N2 virus that triggers symptoms like fever, cold and body aches, but in certain cases, leaves behind persistent cough making patients extremely weak. There has been a nearly 150 per cent rise in patients coming to OPDs with such complaints, they said.

Bharadwaj also added that the central government has issued a Covid advisory in six States - Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Maharashtra and Gujarat. However, Delhi is not included in these states.

He added that the Delhi government has got the genome sequencing done of the samples of the current coronavirus. 

"This variant is non-hazardous. But still advisory is being issued by the Delhi Government for the safety of the people. The symptoms of influenza are similar to those of corona infection and the prevention of corona and influenza are the same, he said.

In such a situation, people should avoid going to crowded places. If you have a cough and cold, do not touch public things in public places. Keep washing your hands from time to time. Do not put your hands on your nose, eyes, mouth, etc," he added.

Seasonal influenza is an acute respiratory tract infection caused by 4 distinct types -- Influenza A, B, C and D belonging to the Orthomyxoviridae family. Among these types, Influenza A is the most common pathogen for humans. Globally, influenza cases are typically seen to increase during certain months of the year. India usually witnesses two peaks of seasonal influenza: one from January to March and another one in the post-monsoon season.

According to the Union Health Ministry, the cases arising from seasonal influenza are expected to decline from March end.

In most cases, the disease is self-limiting with symptoms of cough and cold, body ache and fever etc and usually resolves within a week or so.

However, potentially high-risk groups such as infants, young children, pregnant women, elderly above the age of 65 years and people with comorbidities might experience more symptomatic illnesses requiring hospitalization also. Disease transmission is mostly airborne from person to person, through large droplets generated by the act of coughing and sneezing. Other modes of transmission, include indirect contact by touching a contaminated object or surface (fomite transmission), and close contact including handshaking. 

(With inputs from ANI)

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