According to an ICMR survey 50 percent of the respiratory infection cases that have been admitted to hospitals in over two months are H3N2 influenza, the government told the Lok Sabha on Friday.
A total of 1,161 cases of H3N2, which is a subtype of seasonal influenza virus, have been reported between January 1 and March 20, Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar said in a written reply. She said most of these cases showed symptoms of cough and fever.
The minister said H3N2 is a viral respiratory infection and antibiotics have no role in its treatment. However, she added, sometimes in a respiratory infection a bacterial infection may also occur and therefore physicians may prescribe an antibiotic to take care of the secondary bacterial infection.
According to the data shared by her, Delhi (370) reported the highest number of H3N2 cases followed by Maharashtra (184), Rajasthan (180) and Karnataka (134).
Pawar said the Health Ministry is monitoring the situation and taking steps to support states and UTs in management of influenza cases, including H3N2, which include issuing an advisory for closely following the trend of influenza-like illness (ILI) or severe acute respiratory infection (SARI).
The ministry has asked states and UTs to monitor the proportion of SARI cases among all infection cases and refer sufficient number of samples for testing for influenza, SARS-CoV-2 etc.
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