Bengaluru: Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar on Monday said there is no need to panic regarding Influenza A H3N2 variant virus infection in the state, and guidelines will be released soon for people to take precautions.
He also said that an order will be issued instructing the health staff of all the hospitals to wear face masks compulsorily.
In view of the sudden spike in H3N2 virus infection, the minister today held a meeting with the technical advisory committee (consisting of experts) and senior officials.
”The Central government in its guidelines has set a target of 25 tests per week and we are screening 25 cases of SARI (severe acute respiratory infections) and ILI (influenza-like illness) in Victoria and Vani Vilasa Hospitals to keep track of the variants,” Sudhakar said.
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Speaking to reporters here, he said the infection can be seen in children under 15 years, and in senior citizens above 65 years, also pregnant women are also more likely to get infected.
Spread of infection can be prevented through measures such as cleanliness, preventing crowding, and hand hygiene, he added.
The minister further said influenza vaccination is given every year and all healthcare workers are instructed to get it.
For specific doctors and staff, including those working in the ICU, vaccines will be given by the government, he said, this vaccine was given till 2019 and was discontinued later due to Covid. ”Now it will resume in all 31 districts.” Noting that 20 cases of H1N1 were detected from January to March, Sudhakar said, 26 cases of H3N2, 10 cases of Influenza B 10, 69 cases of Adeno were detected.
Many are taking antibiotic pills on their own. Experts have said that it is not right to take medicine without doctor’s advice and to take antibiotics unnecessarily, he said, medicines need to be given based on symptoms, there is no shortage of medicine and necessary medicines are stocked.
Pointing out that even before the start of summer, the temperature has increased in February itself, the Minister advised, Avoid exposure to sun from 11 am to 3 pm, drink at least 2-3 litres of water, buttermilk, fresh water, and fruit juices.
This infection will clear up within 2-5 days. People who have had Covid earlier seem to have more cough when infected. He said that two cases of this infection have been found in Bengaluru.
Persistent cough, sometimes accompanied by fever, being reported across the country for the past two to three months is due to Influenza A subtype H3N2, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) experts have said.
The H3N2, which has been in wide circulation for the past few months, causes more hospitalisations than other subtypes, said ICMR scientists who keep a close watch on ailments caused by respiratory viruses through the Virus Research and Diagnostic Laboratories network.
A committee has been formed to cap the price of testing for this new infection, the Minister said, ”We are taking measures to ensure that testing is available at low rates… the fee for the examination will be fixed after the report is received from the committee.”