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H3N2 influenza A virus

Published: 16th Mar, 2023

Context

The H3N2 virus has recently been gaining traction as the number of people contracting the seasonal flu-like virus has increased in India.

What is H3N2 Virus?

  • Influenza is a viral disease. It is caused by Orthomyxovirus (influenza virus) pathogen. 
  • The four types of influenza viruses that cause the contagious illness known as the flu are A, B, C, and D.
  • H3N2 is a subtype of virus in the classification 'A'.
  • The virus causes respiratory infection and can infect birds and mammals.
  • According to the United States’ Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), H3N2 caused the 1968 flu pandemic that led to the death of around one million people globally. 
  • Symptoms: Cough, runny or congested nose, sore throat, headache, body aches and pains, fever, chills, fatigue, diarrhoea, vomiting
  • Vaccine:  flu vaccine reduces the risk of flu illness in the general population by between 40 and 60 percent.
  • Prevention:  Washing hands before eating or touching your face, nose or mouth, carrying pocket sanitiser, and avoiding people already infected with the virus or any other seasonal flu are some of the steps to prevent from infectious disease.

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