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Business News/ News / India/  H3N2 outbreak: This UT shuts schools from 16-24 March
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H3N2 outbreak: This UT shuts schools from 16-24 March

H3N2 is a non-human influenza virus that normally circulates in pigs and has infected humans
  • Major symptoms include fever and respiratory symptoms such as cough and runny nose, and possibly other symptoms, including body ache, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhoea.
  • H3N2 virus: Medical students wear a mask for protection against diseases including H3N2 and Covid virus, at a government hospital (PTI)Premium
    H3N2 virus: Medical students wear a mask for protection against diseases including H3N2 and Covid virus, at a government hospital (PTI)

    With the outbreak of the H3N2 virus, all schools in Puducherry will remain shut from 16 March (Thursday) to 26 March (Sunday).

    The decision was taken by Puducherry Education minister A Namassivayam.

    As of 11 March, Puducherry reported 79 cases of influenza, belonging to the viral H3N2 subtype so far.

    But no death related to H3N2 has been reported in the union territory till now.

    Advising people not to panic, the health department officials in the UT have made arrangements at hospitals and primary health centres to keep a check on rising cases.

    Special booths have been opened in the outpatient departments (OPDs) in the hospitals and treatment was also available for those turning up with symptoms of the influenza virus.

    H3N2 is a non-human influenza virus that normally circulates in pigs and has infected humans, according to the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Symptoms are similar to those of seasonal flu viruses and can include fever and respiratory symptoms such as cough and runny nose, and possibly other symptoms, including body ache, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhoea.

    Last week, the central government expressed concern over a gradual increase in the Covid positivity rate in some states amid the H3N2 outbreak.

    The Central government has requested all states and Union territories to follow operational guidelines for integrated surveillance of respiratory pathogens presenting as cases of influenza-like illness (ILI) or severe acute respiratory infection (SARI).

    The states were also requested to take a stock of hospital preparedness such as the availability of drugs and medical oxygen, and vaccination coverage against Covid-19 and influenza.

    According to the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP), there is an upswing seen in influenza-like illness (ILI) or severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) across the country.

    Additionally, since January 1, as per testing of respiratory samples being undertaken by various viral research and diagnostic labs (VRDLs), almost 25.4% of the samples have tested positive for adenoviruses.

    While most of these agents typically cause a similar mild and often self-limiting illness manifesting acute respiratory infection with fever and cough, in some cases, particularly old age people, people with obesity, and other co-morbidities as well as pregnant females, those infected may suffer from a more severe manifestation of these diseases requiring hospitalisation, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said.

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    Published: 15 Mar 2023, 12:08 PM IST
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