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Thursday, June 1, 2023

Seasonal Influenza Cases Are on the Rise across the Country

In Maharashtra 439 cases of H3, N1 and 333 cases of H3N2 have been recorded till now

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Raju Vernekar
Raju Vernekar
Raju Vermekar is a senior Mumbai-based journalist who have worked with many daily newspapers. Raju contributes on versatile topics.

INDIA. Mumbai: While around 450 cases related to Influenza A subtype H3N2 virus have been reported across the country since January, the death toll has reached 9, including 5 deaths reported from Maharashtra. 

The figures include the deaths reported from Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Haryana. In Maharashtra, 439 cases of H3, N1, and 333 cases of H3N2 have been recorded till now. Of these, 86 patients have been admitted to hospitals. Given the rising influenza cases, all medical colleges have been advised to set up isolation wards.

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In Mumbai, 55 cases of H3N1 and 21 cases of H3N2 were recorded in March. From January to March, there were 141 cases of H3N2 and H1N1 in Mumbai. Of these, 9 patients with H3N2 and 5 with H1N1 have been admitted to hospitals. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s A, D, F South, and G South wards have registered the maximum number of cases.

The graph of positive cases went on rising in the last three months as follows: January- H3N2 (1 case), H1N1(18 cases), February- H3N2 (7 cases), H1N1(39 cases) and March-H3N2 (21 cases) and H1N1(55 cases).

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Most of these patients had severe co-morbidities, which worsened their condition, an official from the state health department said. As many as 1,866 patients were given “Oseltamivir”, an antiviral medication used to treat and prevent influenza A and B viruses that cause the flu.


The government in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Himachal Pradesh has issued dos and don’ts to checkmate the uptick in flu cases. Influenza is an infectious disease like COVID-19. People have been cautioned to avoid going to crowded places, to cover their faces while sneezing, to maintain an adequate distance from each other, to use masks, and to take special care of hand hygiene. On March 11, the Union Government requested all states and union territories to follow operational guidelines for integrated surveillance of respiratory pathogens presenting as cases of influenza-like illness (ILI) or severe acute respiratory infection (SARI).


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H3N2 is an influenza virus that spreads from pigs to humans. It is a subtype of the influenza A virus after H1N1. It is highly contagious and spreads from one person to another. People of all age groups could be vulnerable to H3N2. Elderly patients with comorbidities need to be more careful. 

Common symptoms

There are some common symptoms seen in both patients with COVID and the flu: sore throat, cough, headache, body ache, weakness, tiredness, and fever. The H3N2 can cause throat hoarseness, while in the case of COVID-19, a patient could have a fever or stuffy nose. In the flu, a patient could feel intense body ache and a dry cough could last for a longer period. COVID-19 patients experience a loss of smell and taste.

Symptomatic treatment

Medically, symptomatic treatment is recommended to ease symptoms like fever, cough, and nasal congestion. Painkillers, paracetamol, cough suppressants, and nebulizers are recommended by doctors to give relief to patients. 

COVID patients in Maharashtra

In the meantime, the number of active COVID-19 cases has crossed 2000 in Maharashtra. They include 500 active cases in Mumbai. Of these 43 patients, 43 have been admitted to the hospital, and 21 of them are on life support. The BMC has increased the number of beds to treat COVID-19 patients. 1850 beds have been increased in the Andheri-based Seven Hills Hospital, and 30 beds have been increased in Kasturba Hospital, located in south Mumbai.

Also Read: Influenza A Subtype H3N2 Is the Major Cause of Current Respiratory Illness: ICMR


  • Raju Vernekar

    Raju Vermekar is a senior Mumbai-based journalist who have worked with many daily newspapers. Raju contributes on versatile topics.

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