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H3N2 Influenza: Signs and symptoms of severe illness to watch out for

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), H3N2 is a variant of the common flu. Seasonal influenza is an acute respiratory infection caused by influenza viruses that circulate in all parts of the world, says WHO. These are classified into various subtypes. Currently circulating in humans are subtype A (H1N1) and A (H3N2) influenza viruses.

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The H3N2 Influenza: Signs and symptoms:

A flu-like situation has gripped most parts of the country. Almost everyone knows someone who is suffering from fever, cough, runny nose and body ache. While flu is not uncommon at this time of the year when the weather changes from extremely cold to warm, this is not the seasonal flu warn experts.

Common symptoms of H3N2 influenza:

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The flu symptoms caused by H3N2 are similar to symptoms caused by other seasonal influenza viruses. Symptoms typically appear suddenly and can include:

  • cough
  • runny or congested nose
  • sore throat
  • headache
  • body aches and pains
  • fever
  • chills
  • fatigue
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting

How does H3N2 Influenza spread:

According to the WHO, seasonal influenza spreads easily. Crowds accentuate the possibility of the spread. The spread also occurs when an infected person sneezes or coughs. Droplets coming out of the nose or mouth containing viruses are dispersed into the air and may affect people as far as a meter away and those in close proximity alike.

Diagnosis of H3N2:

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The flu has some symptoms in common with other respiratory illnesses, such as the cold. This is one reason why it’s impossible to know whether a person has the flu just by observing their physical symptoms.

A healthcare professional can perform a lab test to confirm whether you have the flu or some other illness. However, if you experience flu-like symptoms during the traditional flu season (October to May), they may diagnose you with the flu even without the help of a lab test.

Vaccine for H3N2:

Each year, the annual flu vaccine protects against either three or four strains of flu. These are known as trivalent and quadrivalent vaccines, respectively. An H1N1, H3N2, and influenza B strain are included in the trivalent vaccine, while an extra influenza B strain is included in the quadrivalent vaccine.

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