H3N2 Influenza Virus: Symptoms, Treatment, Dos And Don’ts – All You Need To Know

The country has seen a spurt in influenza cases and it has been found that a large number of cases are because of the H3N2 virus. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has said that the Influenza A subtype H3N2 is the major cause of current respiratory illness in the country. H3N2 influenza is also known as the “Hong Kong flu”. Patients are taking more time to recover and coming on the heels of the Covid-19 pandemic, this virus has led to widespread concerns. However, the medical body has said people should not panic and continue with the Covid-appropriate behaviours that we have picked up during the pandemic. Here’s all we need to know about the virus.

H3N2 Resulting In More Hospitalisations Currently

About the H3N2 virus, the ICMR said that this subtype appears to cause more hospitalisation than other influenza subtypes. Of the hospitalised severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) patients with influenza A H3N2: 

  • 92 per cent presented with a fever
  • 86 per cent with cough
  • 27 per cent with breathlessness
  • 16 per cent with wheezing. 
  • Additionally: 16 per cent had clinical signs of pneumonia and 6 per cent had seizures.

“The apex research body also said that 10 per cent of SARI patients who have H3N2 needed oxygen, while 7 per cent required ICU care,” the ICMR said.

H3N2 Virus: Key Symptoms

  • Cough
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Sneezing and Runny Nose
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Sore Throat
  • Body Pain and Muscle Aches
  • Diarrhoea 

Most of the symptoms persist for about a week. 

(Pics: Pexel)

How H3N2 Influenza Spreads

The virus is highly contagious and spreads via droplets released when coughing, sneezing, or talking to an infected individual. If someone touches their nose or mouth with the same unwashed hands that touched a surface that has the virus on it, the person can contract the virus. 

Who Is Most Vulnerable To H3N2 Influenza

Experts have said the virus mostly occurs in people aged below 15 and above 50 and causes upper respiratory infections along with fever. Elderly people, children, and pregnant women are most vulnerable to getting infected. Therefore, they must remain extra cautious while venturing outside, the doctors said. Patients having chronic ailments like asthma should also be extra cautious.

H3N2 Influenza: Prevention And Cure

One needs to follow the usual precautions against a virus – follow hand hygiene and wash hands frequently, avoid contact with individuals who have fallen ill, cover your nose and mouth while sneezing and coughing, and get vaccinated with annual the flu shot. Get plenty of rest, drink enough fluids, take over-the-counter medicine to lower the fever, and anti-viral drugs if needed. If symptoms persist, contact a doctor.

Also read:  5 Diet Myths For Kidney Diseases BUSTED: What To Eat, What To Avoid – Check Expert’s Suggestions

Protection From H3N2 Virus: Dos And Don’ts 

Here are some of the important dos and don’ts:


  • Maintain hand hygiene: Wash your hands frequently with soap and water
  • Avoid crowded situations; it is still advisable to use a face mask
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough
  • Keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids
  • If you have fever and body aches, use paracetamol 
  • Stay away from school or work when ill


  • Touch your face and mouth
  • Spit in public
  • Contact sick individuals
  • Shake hands
  • Self-medicate and take antibiotics


(Disclaimer: The article is based on general information and is not a substitute for a medical expert’s advice. Zee News does not confirm this.)

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