H3N2 virus is attacking kids and elderly so it is time to follow Covid protocols yet again - wearing masks, following social distancing and all other rules which were framed and followed during the pandemic, say doctors in Rajasthan as cases increase in the state.
Many children and the elderly are coming in the grip of this virus and recovering in around 10 to 12 days. Also, 7 per cent children are admitted to ICUs, said health experts.
SMS College's former Principal Sudhir Bhandari said: "The reason behind the hospitalisation of children is that they keep playing even when they are unwell. Hence, at times, parents also neglect the gravity and visit doctors only when infection becomes high. Hence they have to be taken to ICU or else admitted to hospital."
SMS Medical College officials said that over 50 positive cases of H3N2 influenza have been reported so far.
The virus belongs to the flu category, but its effect is being seen like a corona, that is, damaging the lungs with fever.
Sheetu Singh from Rajasthan Hospital said: "We have discharged one patient (38 years) after a month after both her lungs turned white due to high infection. She was put on a ventilator for 10 days. She came to us with symptoms of pneumonia, fever and cough."
Bhandari said: "There have been flu cases during season change and this time, the number is a little high so we need to follow the same protocol which we followed during Covid. There is a need to gauge early symptoms and visit a doctor. Self-treating should not be done. If a patient avoids taking opinion for minor symptoms, new cases might cause serious issues in paediatric cases and senior citizens' cases.
"Kids continue to play even when ill. It is because of ignorance and omitting symptoms, that this variant can cause pneumonia in children and adult. There is a need of flu vaccine annually being administered to eligible people above 60+ and diabetic patients. Anyone who has flu symptoms should seek medical opinion. Although people go for self treatment, it is not good. They may get viral pneumonia."
Meanwhile, health officials said that there has been a surge in patients being affected by the virus in Rajasthan.
Dr. Puneet Saxena, Senior Professor, Department of General Medicine, SMS Medical College said that every third-fourth patient in the OPD here is coming with complaints of high fever and cough, which gets prolonged.
These viruses become active with the change in weather and are spreading rapidly. While earlier, fever usually lasted for 3-4 days, but in these cases, the fever is not getting cured even in 6-7 days. However, it is a matter of relief that 95 per cent of the cases are not severe. However, a condition like pneumonia is developing in some patients, said doctors.
Saxena said that coughs start after a fever in patients who are vulnerable to these viruses and it lasts for a long time. The cough is very strong and it is taking 10 to 12 days to get cured.
Doctors say that in some patients getting infected with H3N2 virus, more infection is spreading in the lungs. Due to this, the condition of getting pneumonia is also being created. Often in elderly or small children, when the case worsens, there is also a need to admit them to the hospital.
Such cases are increasing in Kota, Ajmer, Udaipur, and Jodhpur as well.
However, it is a matter of relief that so far no death has been registered in the state.
However, Sheetu Singh said: "There is a silver lining. Such cases are now dwindling. As March ends and April comes, we might get relief from this virus as it activated due during season change. However late reporting is now escalating the issue. Last month, the number of such patients were high and now they are turning negative and their number is receding too."