A 73-year-old man with comorbidities, who had also tested positive for the H3N2 virus, died on Thursday in a civic-run hospital in Pimpri-Chinchwad industrial town in Pune district of Maharashtra, health officials from the local municipal corporation said.
The patient was admitted to the civic-run hospital on March 7, said the officials from the Pimpri- Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC).
The elderly person had other comorbidities along with the H3N2 virus, they said.
"The man was already suffering from asthma, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and atrial fibrillation (an irregular rapid heart rate that commonly causes poor blood flow). Two days ago, he tested positive for H3N2 (subtype of seasonal influenza)," Dr Laxman Gophane, Medical Officer at PCMC, said.
Comorbidity occurs when a person has more than one disease or health condition at the same time.
Dr Gophane said four patients within PCMC limits have so far tested positive for H3N2. They do not have any health complications and are taking treatment at home.
He appealed to citizens not to panic and consult doctors if they show symptoms of the H3N2 influenza.
"The H3N2 has basic (flu) symptoms and necessary medicines like Tamiflu (an antiviral medication used to treat influenza A and B) are available with us. If symptoms like fever, cough and cold occur, people should not ignore them. They should approach hospitals and take medication under the guidance of medical practitioners. There is no need to panic," said the medical officer.
Deaths reported from Nagpur and Ahmednagar
Two deaths from suspected H3N2 influenza virus infection have been reported from Nagpur while another was reported from Ahmednagar district on Wednesday.
Till March 13, 2023, the total number of patients tested for influenza in Maharashtra was at 2,56,424. The total number of suspected patients has been reported at 1406.
The number of patients suffering from swine flu virus, H1N1, was 303 while those suffering from H3H2 was 58. The number of patients admitted hospitalised so far is 48.
Seasonal influenza is an acute respiratory tract infection caused by 4 distinct types -- Influenza A, B, C and D belonging to the Orthomyxoviridae family.
Among these types, Influenza A is the most common pathogen for humans.
Globally, influenza cases are typically seen to increase during certain months of the year. India usually witnesses two peaks of seasonal influenza: one from January to March and another one in the post-monsoon season.
Seasonal influenza cases expected to decline from March end
According to the Union Health Ministry, the cases arising from seasonal influenza are expected to decline from March end.
In most of cases, the disease is self-limiting with symptoms of cough and cold, body ache and fever etc. and usually resolves within a week or so.
However, potentially high-risk groups such as infants, young children, pregnant women, elderly above the age of 65 years and people with comorbidities might experience more symptomatic illnesses requiring hospitalization also.
Disease transmission is mostly airborne from person to person, through large droplets generated by the act of coughing and sneezing. Other modes of transmission, include indirect contact by touching a contaminated object or surface (fomite transmission), and close contact including handshaking.
(With inputs from agencies)
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