Amid a rise in H3N2 influenza virus cases in Maharashtra, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation on Wednesday said 32 patients were admitted in Mumbai of whom 4 have been diagnosed with H3N2 and the remaining 28 with H1N1.
“All of the patients are currently in a stable condition,” the BMC said a statement. Amid the spike in influenza cases, the state government will hold a meeting on Thursday in the presence of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and his deputy Devendra Fadnavis.
“A meeting regarding H3N2 will be held tomorrow in the presence of the chief minister and the deputy chief minister,” state Health minister Tanaji Sawant informed the Assembly on Wednesday.
Sawant informed further that 352 patients in the state have been diagnosed with the H3N2 virus so far.
“A total 352 patients are afflicted with the H3N2 virus so far. They are currently under treatment and all hospitals have been put on alert. H3N2 is not fatal. It can be cured through proper medical treatment. There is no need to panic,” the minister said.
Two deaths from suspected H3N2 influenza virus infection have been reported from Nagpur while another was reported from Ahmednagar district.
Till March 13, 2023, the total number of patients tested for influenza in Maharashtra was at 2,56,424. The total number of suspected patients has been reported at 1406.
The number of patients suffering from swine flu virus, H1N1, was 303 while those suffering from H3H2 was 58. The number of patients admitted hospitalised so far is 48.
Seasonal influenza is an acute respiratory tract infection caused by 4 distinct types — Influenza A, B, C and D belonging to the Orthomyxoviridae family.
Among these types, Influenza A is the most common pathogen for humans.
Globally, influenza cases are typically seen to increase during certain months of the year. India usually witnesses two peaks of seasonal influenza: one from January to March and another one in the post-monsoon season.
According to the Union Health Ministry, the cases arising from seasonal influenza are expected to decline from March end.
In most of cases, the disease is self-limiting with symptoms of cough and cold, body ache and fever etc. and usually resolves within a week or so.
However, potentially high-risk groups such as infants, young children, pregnant women, elderly above the age of 65 years and people with comorbidities might experience more symptomatic illnesses requiring hospitalization also.
Disease transmission is mostly airborne from person to person, through large droplets generated by the act of coughing and sneezing. Other modes of transmission, include indirect contact by touching a contaminated object or surface (fomite transmission), and close contact including handshaking.