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Everything You Should Know About Influenza A Subtype H3N2 Virus

20-03-2023 Posted By : Olab Team Share :
Everything You Should Know About Influenza A Subtype H3N2 Virus | O-Lab

True knowledge is power and this is what curtails the spread of misinformation while fighting fear-mongering. This is a guide for you to know all about H3N2 Virus infection, prevention, symptoms, and treatment.

What is H3N2 Virus? How does it affect humans?

Seasonal respiratory illnesses with flu-like symptoms are seen every year in India and other countries. While there are four types of influenza virus (A, B, C, and D), the culprits behind the seasonal respiratory illnesses are A and B types. H3N2 is a subtype of Influenza A virus. This virus was first detected in the year 1968 and has been evolving since then. It is probably the most rapidly evolving strain of Influenza viruses. Due to the antigenic changes and the significant symptoms including pulmonary complications, it takes on an epidemic nature.


H3N2 Virus- Infection, Symptoms, Treatment, and Vaccines

Spread and infection of H3N2

According to the IMA, for most people this infection will last for 5-7 days. Fever goes away in around 3 days for most people. A long lasting symptom is a persistent cough which can last for 3 weeks or more. Children below 15 years and adults above 50 years are more susceptible to getting infected. The infection may cause severe illness in people who have certain existing health issues and those who are immunocompromised.

It is spread from an infected person to others through infected droplets. Transmission can be through direct contact or from contaminated surfaces. The droplets are generally spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Please take preventive measures to avoid getting infected. 

H3N2 virus spread in India: Should you worry?

Our country has seen a rise in cases of H3N2 virus infections with many states having a higher number than usual. The Central and State governments are taking all the necessary steps to prevent further spreading of the infection. Experts believe that the cases will start declining soon. You must follow the guidelines and get medical care when required. Self medication should be avoided.


Influenza A Virus Subtype H3N2 Symptoms

The symptoms generally resemble those of seasonal Influenza. 

The symptoms can include:

?     Chills and fever

?     Sore throat

?     Runny nose or congested nose, sneezing

?     Headache

?     Fatigue

?     Cough that may last long

?     Body aches

?     Nausea, uneasiness, and vomiting

?     Diarrhoea


Treatment of H3N2

It has been advised by IMA and government bodies that people should not panic and avoid self medication. Antibiotics should be avoided unless prescribed by a consulting doctor. For most people, symptomatic treatment will help relieve the symptoms and shorten the duration of illness.

Follow these measures for a rapid recovery

?     Take rest and avoid stress

?     Drink plenty of fluids

?     Eat simple meals which are easy to digest and nourishing. Avoid spicy and fried foods

?     Take steam for chest congestion

?     Saline water gargles can be used to find relief from sore throat

?     Avoid foods with too much sugar and sodium

?     You can take the recommended dose of paracetamol to bring down the fever


Get immediate medical care if you have:

?     Breathing trouble

?     Pain in the chest or abdomen

?     Sudden dizziness or confusion

?     Persistent vomiting or severe diarrhoea

?     Any severe symptoms and are in a high risk group which includes

-       Adults over 65 years

-       Children below 5 years

-       Pregnant individuals

-       People with chronic health conditions

-       Immunocompromised people


Yearly flu vaccines usually cover H1N1, H3N2, and Influenza B strains. Contact your doctor for more information and whether you should be getting a flu shot.

How can the H3N2 virus be prevented from spreading?

Prevention is an important step and can be effectively done at your end.

?     Wash hands frequently with soap and water or use a hand sanitiser to maintain hand hygiene

?     Don't touch your face and nose as that can lead to infection

?     Avoid crowded places

?     Wear a mask when you go out or are around someone who appears to be sick

?     Drink plenty of water and maintain a healthy diet. Eat fruits and veggies, get enough protein and healthy fats in your diet

?     Do not spit in public places or in open

?     Avoid close contact like hugging or shaking hands

?     If you have any pre-existing conditions, consult your doctor for additional or modified preventive measures


Detection of H3N2 virus

The H3N2 virus can be detected through lab testing. The process of taking the sample for lab testing is very similar to COVID-19 testing. A nasal or/and pharyngeal swabs are taken for collecting your sample. The reporting time is generally a few hours from the time of sample collection. The time can be more if there are more cases in your area.


  1. What is the H3N2 incubation period?

It is generally considered that it has a short incubation period ranging from 1-5 days.

  1. How dangerous is H3N2?

Most people recover rapidly and uneventfully from this infection just like most seasonal flus. It can cause serious illness in children, older adults, immunocompromised people, and people with certain pre-existing conditions.

  1. H1N1 vs H3N2

If you are wondering if H3N2 is swine flu, the answer is NO. Both H1N1 and H3N2 are subtypes of Influenza A virus but they are not the same. The main difference is between the surface proteins. The H3N2 subtype can cause more severe illness in some people.


At O-Lab, we have different test packages based on your symptoms and needs. 

Our labs are equipped with state of the art equipment. Free physician and dietary consultation are included in many packages. We offer a home collection facility. Please feel free to reach out for any queries. 

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