H3N2 Influenza: Symptoms, Treatment, Viruses, Precautions

H3N2 Influenza: Symptoms, Treatment, Viruses, Precautions

Bajaj Finserv Health
March 14, 20235 mins read


H3N2 infection was first discovered in the US in 2010 and has recently spread across India. As the H3N2 virus is a subtype of Influenza A virus, treatment of the infection is similar too. People who are at risk of contracting the infection are pregnant women, children, older people and people with comorbidities.

Key Takeaways

  • H3N2 infections usually last for five days or a week
  • The symptoms of the H3N2 virus are much like common flu symptoms
  • Self-medication is strictly prohibited in case of any severe flu-like symptoms like difficulty in breathing

Recently, there have been reports of two deaths caused by the Influenza A subtype H3N2 virus in India. As stated by the Government of India, individuals who have succumbed to the infection are from Karnataka and Haryana. The government has also stated that there are around 90 reported cases of H3N2 infection across the country [1].

Wondering what is influenza H3N2 virus? Read on to learn about H3N2 symptoms and treatments and the precautions you can take.

What Is The H3N2 Virus?

Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC), a public health organization in the United States, has defined the H3N2 virus as a subtype of the Influenza A virus [2]. This virus was first discovered among pigs in the US in 2010. In 2011, 12 human infections were reported. In the next year, the number of reported cases of infection increased to 309. 

It is important to note that H3N2 infections usually last for five days or a week.

Additional Read: Viral Fever SymptomsH3N2 Symptoms

Causes Of H3N2 Infections

When a person affected by the H3N2 virus coughs, sneezes or merely speaks, it can lead to the emission of droplets that can infect another person. Apart from this, a person can get infected by H3N2 if they touch a surface, food, or other objects contaminated with the virus and touch their nose or mouth after that. Individuals who are usually at a high risk of getting infected by H3N2 include:

  • Children
  • Pregnant women
  • Senior citizens
  • People with one or multiple medical conditions

How Does The H3N2 Virus Spread?

No community spreading of the virus has been detected so far, so the primary mode of transmission of the H3N2 virus is person-to-person.

Influenza H3N2 Symptoms

When it comes to H3N2 flu symptoms, there is not much difference in them from the symptoms of the flu. Here are the common symptoms caused by the H3N2 virus:

  • Fever
  • Runny nose
  • Chills
  • Coughs
  • Sore throat
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Body ache

In case you have a fever as part of your H3N2 symptoms, it will usually go away within three days. Likewise, other symptoms will gradually disappear. However, if someone finds breathing difficult and has other symptoms such as sore throat, runny nose, and fatigue, it is prudent to consult a doctor.

Additional Read: Omicron SymptomsHow Does H3N2 Virus Spread

Diagnosis of H3N2 Infection

As the H3N2 infection is a type of flu, doctors may recommend a lab test to be 100% sure. However, if you start experiencing H3N2 symptoms between October to May when people tend to get flu due to changes in season, doctors may recommend H3N2 treatment even without a lab test.

Treatments For H3N2 Infection

If you are diagnosed with H3N2 flu, doctors may recommend the following for H3N2 treatment:

  • Intake of lots of fluids
  • Sufficient rest
  • OTC painkillers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen
  • Antiviral medications such as zanamivir and oseltamivir

As per WHO guidelines, doctors must also prescribe neuraminidase inhibitors in suspected and confirmed cases. They should be initiated within two days following the onset of symptoms to ensure maximum therapeutic benefits.

Additional Read: Dengue Fever Symptoms

Precautions For H3N2 Infection

After being infected by the H3N2 virus, adhering to the following guidelines mentioned below is crucial:

  • Keep a constant check on the oxygen level with the help of a pulse oximeter
  • In case the oxygen level goes below 95, arrange a doctor's visit
  • If the oxygen level drops further and becomes less than 90%, hospitalization and intensive care will be necessary
  • Never go for self-medication in such situations

Dos and Don’ts For H3N2 Prevention

Dos For H3N2 Prevention

  • Maintain cleanliness: Sanitize your hands regularly or wash them with soap and water
  • Stay away from the crowd: In case you cannot avoid this, make sure to wear a face mask
  • Keep your mouth and nose covered while coughing or sneezing: Use a handkerchief for this purpose and wash it regularly
  • Prioritise hydration: Drink sufficient liquids
  • Take a leave if you are sick: It is better to be safe than sorry. It will also help to curb the spread of the virus

Don’ts For H3N2 Prevention

  • Touch your nose, eyes, or mouth: Use clean handkerchiefs or napkins if you have to. Avoid touching your face, as it may facilitate the spread of the infection
  • Spit in public: It may infect a large number of people, so avoid spitting in public places
  • Shake hands with random people to greet them: You can bow or use any other relevant zero-contact gesture
  • Consume medications without consulting a doctor: It can worsen the H3N2 infection and lead to severe consequences

Now that you know about the H3N2 symptoms, precautions and treatment measures, it becomes easier to watch out for the disease and take suitable actions if symptoms arise. Remember, in case of any emergency, you can get a doctor consultation on the Bajaj Finserv Health app. Book a general physician appointment in minutes with the option of going for an in-clinic or online consultation. By prioritising healthcare, you can prevent seasonal or communicable diseases and lead a happy and healthy lifestyle throughout the year!

H3N2 Influenza: Symptoms, Treatment, Viruses, Precautions banner
  1. https://theprint.in/india/2-dead-in-india-from-h3n2-influenza-virus-90-cases-so-far-in-country/1432122/
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/swineflu/variant/h3n2v-cases.htm#:~:text=Influenza%20A%20H3N2%20variant%20viruses,infections%20with%20H3N2v%20were%20detected.

Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.

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