Living with a virus | Health and Safety News, India Express

“Flu season is winding down, but we are always exposed to viral and bacterial infections. In a post-Covid world, we need to develop new preventive social behaviors,” said Dr. Manoj Sharma, Senior Consultant, Internal Medicine, Fortis, Vasant Kunj.

Influenza h3n2 virusThe new influenza virus H3N2 has typical flu symptoms (Source: Getty Images/Thinkstock)

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1:30 PM, Basement OPD, Fortis Hospital, Vasant Kunj: Mothers trying to calm their restless children in their arms are overwhelmed. All of them have varying degrees of fever, cough and runny nose, suspected to be suffering from the influenza virus that is spreading in our cities. Dr. Manoj Sharma, senior consultant in internal medicine, is taking a break after seeing patients non-stop in the morning. Continuing the consultation, a 30-year-old woman complains of high fever and admits it is covid. It calms her down, all she needs to do is take normal fever medicine (paracetamol), wear a mask and follow hand hygiene. He asks her to stay for three days until the fever subsides and to report any respiratory problems or other problems that may occur even on the 5th day.

“The new influenza virus, H3N2, has typical flu symptoms such as cough, throat congestion, sore throat, fever, headache, chills, body aches and fatigue. Therefore, we ask patients to wear masks to prevent the spread and receive symptomatic treatment, he said. A senior patient, who has been waiting anxiously for his turn, complains of a very strange cough. Dr. Sharma recommends getting a flu shot. “The emergence of the virus in the elderly is difficult. Current flu vaccines have not been updated to protect against this strain of the virus, but there may be some partial protection if you get the flu shot early. Of course, if you get a flu shot now, your body may need four to six weeks to develop immunity, so it may not work in the current wave. But we should all get flu shots every year, and people living with co-morbidities like diabetes and heart issues really should get a pneumonia shot every year, he said. The IMA also stated that this virus usually affects individuals under the age of 15 or over the age of 50. Therefore, vaccinations are essential for both age groups.

among patients. Dr. Sharma said H3N2 is not new. “There was an epidemic in 1968-69 and it became an epidemic, just like Covid did this time. About four million people died. It resides in the community and resurfaces whenever the community becomes more vulnerable. Over time, antigenic differences occur in each virus. The same thing happened when the influenza virus was split into A, B, C, and D. “H3N2 is a subtype of influenza A,” he says. “It’s not like the flu that came back. The protocols and collective defense nature of covid have only distanced us from it. We have now encouraged the virus to spread even further with less social distancing than has been remedied. Also, most of us have had covid which has damaged our immune system. That’s why we are exposed not only to this type of problem but also to other floating viruses. “That’s why people complain about relapses because being immune to one virus doesn’t mean you’re immune to others,” he added. 90% of people are reporting a cough lasting three to four weeks, which shows how the immune system is weakened and slows recovery.

Do H3N2 patients need antiviral treatment? “No. Only the elderly, immunocompromised, pregnant women, diabetics, heart, lung and kidney sufferers should be monitored for such interventions. If the symptoms are mild, we don’t even go for a check-up. There is no need to cause unnecessary panic,” he added. It’s the city’s pollution. “Pollutants erode and change the respiratory system of our lungs. Influenza season is winding down, but we’re more susceptible to viral and bacterial infections. So in a post-Covid world, we need to develop new protective social behaviors,” he said.

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