Gurugram: The H3N2 influenza virus is behind the sudden spike in cases of viral infection and respiratory issues across Delhi-NCR, doctors have said.
The symptoms are cough, nausea, vomiting, sore throat, fever, body ache, and diarrhoea in some cases. The infection usually lasts for about five to seven days. The fever goes away at the end of three days, but the cough can persist up to three weeks, according to doctors.
“We are witnessing 40 per cent of the viral fever cases with H3N2 currently,” said Dr Amitabh Parti, director of internal medicine, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram.
“Several people are coming to the hospital with post-viral bronchitis because of H3N2. This occurs when an immune reaction in the airways in the lungs after the acute infection of the virus settles down, and that produces spasm, shortness of breath, persistent dry cough with heaviness in the chest,” he said. Doctors recommend patients to wear masks to curb the spread of the infection as it can lead to complications in people with comorbidities.
“Yes, there is definitely a spike in viral cases at present. This is not unusual. Every year during January and February, the viral cases rise because of weather conditions. People need to take precautions. Most of them are getting better within a week,” said Dr Virender Yadav, chief medical officer, Gurugram.
People who are at higher risk of developing complications if they get seasonal flu are children younger than five years, people aged 65 years and above, pregnant women, and people with certain long-term health conditions (like asthma, diabetes, heart disease, weakened immune systems and neurological conditions).
Dr Kuldeep Kumar Grover, head of critical care at CK Birla Hospital, Gurugram, said, “We see a rise in viral infection every year during this season. Mostly it occurs in people above the age of 50 and below 15 years. People develop upper respiratory infections along with fever. Also, air pollution is one of the precipitating factors.”
Doctors said it’s crucial for people to avoid crowded places and travel if not necessary, apart from practicing good hand and respiratory hygiene. People should seek medical advice if the symptoms persist for more than two days.