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No need to panic over H3N2 virus: Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar assures public

In view of the sudden spike in H3N2 virus infection, the minister held a meeting today with the technical advisory committee and senior officials. Later, he addressed a press conference.

Reported By: T Raghavan Bengaluru Published on: March 06, 2023 20:59 IST
No need to panic over H3N2 virus: Karnataka Health Minister
Image Source : FILE/REPRESENTATIVE No need to panic over H3N2 virus: Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar assures public

Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar on Monday asked the people not to panic over the rise in influenza H3N2 variant virus infection. He further said that guidelines will be released soon for people to follow and protect themselves from the virus. 

In view of the sudden spike in H3N2 virus infection, the minister held a meeting today with the technical advisory committee and senior officials. Later, he addressed a press conference.

"The Central government in its guidelines has set a target of 25 tests per week and we are screening 25 cases of SARI (severe acute respiratory infections) and ILI (influenza-like illness) in Victoria and Vani Vilasa Hospitals to keep track of the variants," Sudhakar said.

He futher said, "The infection can be seen in children under 15 years of age, and in senior citizens over 65 years of age. Pregnant women are also more likely to get infected. He said that the spread of infection can be prevented through measures such as cleanliness, preventing crowding, and hand hygiene."

He urged the public not to take antibiotics unnecessarily. Experts have said that it is not right to take medicine without doctor's advice and to take antibiotics unnecessarily, he said, medicines need to be given based on symptoms, there is no shortage of medicine and necessary medicines are stocked.

 The minister further said influenza vaccination is given every year and all healthcare workers are instructed to get it.

For specific doctors and staff, including those working in the ICU, vaccines will be given by the government, he said, this vaccine was given till 2019 and was discontinued later due to Covid. "Now it will resume in all 31 districts." 

Pointing out that even before the start of summer, the temperature has increased in February itself, the Minister advised, Avoid exposure to sun from 11 am to 3 pm, drink at least 2-3 litres of water, buttermilk, fresh water, and fruit juices.

This infection will clear up within 2-5 days.

People who have had Covid earlier seem to have more cough when infected. He said that two cases of this infection have been found in Bengaluru.

The H3N2, which has been in wide circulation for the past few months, causes more hospitalisations than other subtypes, said ICMR scientists who keep a close watch on ailments caused by respiratory viruses through the Virus Research and Diagnostic Laboratories network.

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