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Seasonal Influenza Cases Likely To Decline From March-end: Centre

Earlier today, the Union Health Ministry sources reported that two persons have died of influenza caused by the H3N2 virus in Karnakata and Haryana respectively

Influenza cases, which are also known as the "Hong Kong flu", are seeing a surge in India (representative image)
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The Union Health Ministry is keeping a close watch on the seasonal influenza situation in various states and union territories through the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) network on a real-time basis, it said in an official notification today, adding that the cases are expected to decline by March-end.

"Young children and old age persons with comorbidities are the most vulnerable groups in context of seasonal influenza. So far, Karnataka and Haryana have confirmed one death each from H3N2 influenza," the ministry said. 

Cases so far

Influenza cases, which are also known as the "Hong Kong flu", are seeing a surge in India where H3N2 virus has been identified as the primary causative agent. Few H1N1 infections have also been detected in India.

The symptoms include fever, chills, cough, breathlessness and wheezing. Patients have also reported nausea, sore throat, body-ache and diarrhoea. Symptoms persist for about a week.

According to the latest data available on IDSP-IHIP (Integrated Health Information Platform), 3,038 laboratory confirmed cases of various subtypes of influenza, including H3N2, have been reported till March 9 by states.

This includes 1,245 cases in January, 1,307 in February and 486 cases till March 9, the ministry said. Further, the IDSP-IHIP data from health facilities indicates that during January, 3,97,814 cases of acute respiratory illness or influenza like illness (ARI/ILI) were reported in the country, which increased slightly to 4,36,523 during February, it said. 

In the first nine days of March, this number stands at 1,33,412 cases, the statement said.

Earlier today, the Union Health Ministry sources reported that two persons have died of influenza caused by the H3N2 virus in Karnakata and Haryana respectively.

(With PTI inputs)

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