Out of 225 samples collected in the months of January and February of this year, 59 H3N2 influenza illnesses were confirmed. According to Regional Medical Research Center (RMRC) Bhubaneswar Director Dr. Sanghamitra Pati, “symptoms are identical to seasonal flu viruses, including fever and cough.”
Amid a sharp increase in H3N2 virus cases across the state, Odisha’s Health Secretary directed all district administrations on Sunday to be vigilant and increase influenza-like illness (ILI) and severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) surveillance at the health facility and community levels, according to the Department of Health.
State Health Department stated in a press statement that, “H1N1 and H3N2 are subtypes of Influenza A virus. It’s common flu virus quite common in children and the elderly from December to March. Most of the illnesses are mild and self-limiting. Handwashing, personal hygiene, and avoiding crowded places are the key measures to be followed as done earlier.”
“Our 30 DPHLs are continuously monitoring the trend of ILI and SARI cases by testing samples regularly in our 23 RTPCR labs and DPHLs. Our 30 DPHLs are doing H1N1 testing on regular basis. Each of them has requisite infrastructure and lab logistics to conduct the tests if a surge is seen in the near future,” the Health Department further said.
“Our State is continuously testing the samples of ILI and SARI cases for detection of Covid cases, District IDSP units are in readiness and constantly monitoring the situation. Labs are kept in readiness to handle the surge of cases that occurs if any,” the Statement from Health Department added.
According to the Union Health Ministry, Karnataka and Haryana have verified one H3N2 influenza mortality apiece.
H3N2 was the most common subtype, followed by H1N1. Both of these subtypes are Influenza ‘A’.
Nevertheless, the Union Ministry of Health stated on Friday that incidences of seasonal influenza, especially H3N2, which has claimed one life each in Haryana and Karnataka, are projected to fall by the end of March.