H3N2 virus: Health dept instructs public to be on high alert

Health Minister Veena George said that doctors are advised to test patients, who report fever symptoms, for influenza also. Photo: Manorama

Thiruvananthapuram: At a time when the H3N2 virus is spreading in the country, the Kerala health department has alerted the state too to be on vigil.

On account of the two deaths caused by the virus in Karnataka and Haryana, the Centre on Friday directed all states to be on high alert. While Health Minister Veena George said that no new viruses have been confirmed yet, she added subtypes of influenza were found and more tests will be conducted.
Doctors instructed to check for influenza
The health minister advised doctors to test patients who report fever symptoms for influenza as well.

She said, “They should send swabs for testing. They should also give the treatment for viral fever, especially to children, pregnant women and those who have any co-morbidity.”

She further said cold, fever and respiratory difficulties are symptoms of influenza. Many are apparently reporting respiratory difficulties when infected with fever these days. This can be due to influenza variants, the minister said. Therefore, patients are advised to avoid self-medication.

Drink lots of water
The minister said it's important to drink lots of boiled water, even when not thirsty. “Keep water with you while travelling. As per the instructions of the Disaster Management Authority, people have been asked to ensure they don't work outside between 11 am and 3 pm. "Don't subject yourself to direct sunlight and don't send kids out to play. Also, don't leave kids or others inside cars parked outside during hot weather. It will lead to discomfort. One should think that any illness you experience can also be due to the heat,” she said.

Chickenpox and diarrhoea cases are on the rise, especially in northern Kerala, though no deaths have been reported yet, she added.

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.