Jharkhand reports first H3N2 case
Jharkhand witnessed its first case of H3N2 influenza on Friday midnight, with a 68-year-old woman testing positive for the virus in Jamshedpur under East Singhbhum district.
East Singhbhum civil surgeon Dr Jujhar Majhi claimed that the patient’s condition was stable.
“She had been admitted to Tata Main Hospital in Jamshedpur with influenza-like symptoms and had no travel history. Her sample was sent to the nearest ICMR’s Virus Research and Diagnostic Laboratories in MGM Medical College and Hospital and was confirmed positive on Friday midnight. She has already been kept in the isolation ward of Tata Main Hospital,” Dr Majhi said.
East Singhbhum epidemiologist Dr Mohammed Asad said the family members of the infected patient had been kept under surveillance.
“We will keep them under surveillance for a week for any influenza-related symptoms. However, none of the family members has any symptoms so far,” Dr Asad said.
There has been a surge in influenza and flu-like cases in different districts of Jharkhand in the last one month.
Several samples have been tested at ICMR’s Virus Research and Diagnostic Laboratories housed at Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Ranchi and MGM Medical College and Hospital in Jamshedpur. But this was the first sample to test positive.
The Jharkhand health department had on March 12 issued an advisory for all district surveillance units and health centres across the state to be on alert for H3N2 influenza cases and to ensure that people followed Covid-appropriate behaviour like covering mouth while coughing or sneezing, wearing masks, using sanitisers and maintaining social distance in crowded places, practise hand hygiene and drinking plenty of fluids.
The advisory also mandates district health officials to conduct proper screening, monitoring and reporting of district-wise influenza-like cases and severe respiratory illness in all health facilities and upload the data on the health surveillance portal.
The advisory directed the district hospitals to be prepared in terms of oxygen-supported beds, drugs, medical oxygen and other equipment.
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.
Symptoms are similar to those of seasonal flu and can include fever and respiratory symptoms such as cough and runny nose, body ache, nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea.
According to data shared by the Union health ministry on March 10, 451 cases of the H3N2 virus have been reported in the country between January 2 and March 5.