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HomeNationalCOVID-19 must take appropriate action to deal with the H3N2 virus: Randeep...

COVID-19 must take appropriate action to deal with the H3N2 virus: Randeep Guleria MIGMG News

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IANS: Once known to be just like the common cold, the disease has claimed two lives in Karnataka and Haryana. According to reports, children under 5 end up in intensive care. Your comments?

Guleria: H3N2 largely causes a mild flu-like condition. But in extreme years—children and the elderly and those with comorbidities—it can cause severe illness and they can be hospitalized. In some cases, they may also require ICU admission due to severe pneumonia.

For this reason, we have promoted appropriate Covid behavior especially among the high-risk group, and we are also increasing vaccination for prevention among the high-risk group and many people of extreme age.

IANS: Why is there a rise in flu cases? Is the severity greater this time because Covid has made our immune system weaker?

Guleria: The flu is not a new phenomenon, every year there are patients with this disease who are admitted to the hospital and ICU due to a severe infection. But this year it might be a little more.

The virus regularly undergoes what we call antigenic drift; and how the coronavirus continues to mutate. So it’s natural for the virus to mutate a bit, leading to some higher chances of infection. That is why there is a vaccine that is taken annually, because every year the virus undergoes a slight change or mutates to a certain extent.

I don’t think there is a connection between the rise of H3N2 and Covid. In theory, it is possible that due to the lower number of flus in the last two years, there has been a decrease in what we will see in the innate natural immunity in the population.

Another reason is that Covid has been the dominant virus as far as the respiratory tract is concerned for the last two years.

The fact that we followed the appropriate Covid behavior also protected us from the flu.


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