Puducherry has reported 79 cases of influenza cases belonging to the viral H3N2 subtype so far, a health official said on Saturday.
In a press release, the Union Territory's Director of Medical Services G Sriramulu stated that the count of H3N2 cases, a subtype of seasonal influenza, were reported till March 4 in Puducherry, but there was no death due to the virus in the UT till now.
Advising people not to panic, the official said the health department has made arrangements at hospitals and primary health centres to keep a check on rising cases. Special booths were opened in the outpatient departments (OPDs) in the hospitals and treatment was also available for those turning up with symptoms of the influenza virus, he said.
"We have taken all preventive steps to ensure that the virus does not spread," Sriramulu said asking the public to follow guidelines that were recommended for the Covid pandemic, including washing hands, wearing face masks, and avoiding crowded places.
He, however, said an ICMR report has pointed out that H3N2 cases would go down by the end of March.
H3N2 is a non-human influenza virus that normally circulates in pigs and has infected humans, according to the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Symptoms are similar to those of seasonal flu viruses and can include fever and respiratory symptoms such as cough and runny nose, and possibly other symptoms, including body ache, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhoea.