H3N2 Influenza Virus: The H3N2 virus, is a type of influenza virus that can cause serious respiratory illness in humans. The H3N2 Influenza virus is a subtype of the Influenza A virus. H3N2, a strain of the influenza A virus is also responsible for several outbreaks in the past.
The H3N2 virus, also known as the flu, is a contagious respiratory disease that can affect anyone at any time. H3N2 symptoms can range from minor to severe, and they sometimes lead to hospitalization or even death.
As the weather turns cold, the flu season starts, which leads to an increase in influenza cases. The symptoms of the illness among people are greatly influenced by the temperature change from extremely cold to warm.
In this article, we will explore the symptoms, treatment options, and viruses associated with H3N2. Moreover, we discuss the precautions that we can take to keep the H3N2 virus away.
What is the H3N2 virus?
H3N2 is a subtype of the influenza A virus, which belongs to the Orthomyxoviridae family. The virus is highly contagious as it can be transmitted from one person to another and also through contact with contaminated objects or surfaces.
The H3N2 strain of the influenza virus causes seasonal outbreaks and sometimes contributes to epidemics as well. Birds and mammals can also get infected by the virus. In birds and other animals, it has mutated into many strains.
H3N2 Influenza Virus Symptoms
According to the World health organization (WHO), avian, swine, and other zoonotic influenza can cause serious illness in humans including mild to upper respiratory infection, pneumonia, and acute respiratory distress syndrome that may result in death. The symptoms caused by H3N2 are similar to those of other seasonal influenza viruses. It can vary from individual to individual but usually include the following:
- Throat ache/sore throat
- Body aches
- Diarrhea (in some cases)
- Sneezing and runny nose
The symptoms of the flu usually last a week, but they may persist longer in some people. If you experience any of these symptoms, you must seek medical attention immediately—especially if your immune system has been weakened or if the condition you are facing poses a critical risk.
How does the H3N2 infection spread?
The H3N2 influenza virus spreads easily from one person to another through tiny droplets released into the air when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. The virus can also spread if someone touches their mouth or nose after coming into contact with an infected object or surface.
Women who are pregnant, young children, elderly adults, or people with underlying medical conditions may suffer more serious complications from the flu.
Diagnosis of H3N2
The symptoms of the flu and colds overlap in several ways. Because of this, it can be challenging to tell if someone has the flu or just a cold-based solely on their physical symptoms.
A medical expert may perform a lab test to determine whether you have the flu. However, if you show flu-like symptoms from October to May, the normal flu season, your doctor may make a diagnosis of the virus without seeking to send a sample to a lab.
Virus Associated with H3N2
The different strains of the H3N2 influenza virus tend to circulate in cycles. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends updating the flu vaccine each year based on which strain is expected to be most prevalent that season.
Treatment For H3N2 Influenza Virus
There are several treatment options available for the H3N2 virus, depending on the severity of the symptoms. If you are suffering from H3N2, your doctor may recommend the following:
Antiviral medications: A doctor may also recommend antiviral drugs such as oseltamivir and zanamivir for people with severe or complicated cases of H3N2 infection. Anti-viral medications are prescribed to reduce the severity and duration of symptoms.
Over-the-counter medications: Pain relievers, fever reducers, and cough suppressants can relieve symptoms and help you feel better. These medications include acetaminophen or ibuprofen to reduce fever and relieve pain.
Rest and fluids: Resting and drinking plenty of fluids and a balanced light diet can help your body recover from the flu more quickly.
However, it is important to remember that taking painkillers or antibiotics without a doctor’s prescription can be harmful. Doctors have warned against taking over-the-counter antibiotics. You should go through a lab diagnosis, and only take the prescribed treatment for a specified time.
Precautions To Avoid H3N2
To prevent the H3N2 strain of influenza, it is essential to take some safety measures. The best way to avoid getting this form of flu is by taking preventive measures. It includes:
Get Vaccinated: The flu vaccine is the best way to prevent infection by H3N2 and other strains of the flu.
Frequently Wash your hands: Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, particularly after using the restroom, before eating, and before touching your face, nose, or mouth. Also. you can use hand sanitizer that can help you to prevent the spread of the virus.
Avoid contact with individuals who are ill: When someone is sick, avoid close contact with them and wear a mask to protect yourself.
Avoid Crowded areas: When possible, avoid crowded areas where you are exposed to germs and viruses that cause the flu. Such spaces include schools, public transit systems, and office buildings.
Cover your mouth and nose: When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue to help prevent the spreading of germs.
Dos And Don’ts To Prevent The Spread Of the H3N2 Influenza Virus
The H3N2 influenza A virus is extremely contagious and has a high rate of human transmission. It’s crucial to adhere to certain guidelines to stop the spread of this virus. Here are some dos and don’ts listed below to keep you safe:
Things You need to do
- Washing your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds can help prevent the spread of germs.
- When in public areas or around people who are sick, wear a face mask to protect yourself from the virus.
- When coughing and sneezing, properly cover your mouth and nose. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or the crook of your elbow, then properly dispose of the tissue.
- Avoid touching your nose or mouth, as this can aid in the virus’s entry into your body.
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. This can help you stay healthy by strengthening your immune system.
- Take paracetamol to relieve symptoms if you start to feel feverish or achy.
Things You Should Avoid
- Spitting in public places can spread the virus to other people.
- Avoid shaking hands or other contact-based greetings because they can spread the virus.
- Never self-medicate or take antibiotics or any other drugs without first seeking medical advice. This is potentially harmful and might not eradicate the virus.
- Avoid eating next to others at the table to reduce the chance of the virus spreading.
Getting a cold is common, but getting the H3N2 Influenza A virus is quite dangerous. If you think you may have H3N2, get medical attention right away and take precautions to avoid contracting the virus. Use the vaccines available to protect yourself and your loved ones from the virus. The above article will surely help you to get a deep knowledge of what to do and what not to do. Stay Safe and Stay Healthy!