The first case of H3N2 influenza is confirmed in Madhya Pradesh. According to state health department, the swab sample of a 26-year-old patient with symptoms of the infection has been sent to AIIMS Bhopal.
The patient is a resident of Bhopal and is in home isolation. Bhopal chief medical and health officer (CMHO) Dr Prabhakar Tiwari confirmed the case as positive for H3N2.
As per the reports, the patient is now among 14 new cases of H3N2 diagnosed during the week in the country, according to the ICMR laboratory network for ILI-SARI surveillance.
Patient does not have any travel history. Currently there are no guidelines for home isolation or area wide testing for H3N2.
Seasonal influenza is an acute respiratory tract infection caused by 4 distinct types of viruses- 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 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.
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, even requiring hospitalisation.
Disease transmission is mostly airborne from person to person, through large droplets generated by the act of coughing and sneezing.