H3N2 Influenza Virus: Health officials are cautioning the public to be on alert for H3N2 strain of influenza virus, which has been responsible for an uptick in hospitalizations and deaths this season.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), H3N2 strain of influenza can be especially hazardous for older adults, young children, and people with underlying medical conditions. While flu symptoms may appear mild in some cases, health officials warn that certain signs and symptoms could be indicative of a more serious illness.
“Flu symptoms can range from mild to severe, so it is essential that you pay attention to your body and seek medical help if any of the warning signs appear,” according to Dr. John Smith, CDC spokesperson.
H3N2 symptoms can include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches and fatigue. Health officials warn that if these are coupled with any of the following, medical help should be sought immediately:
Signs of pregnancy could include difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, chest or abdominal pain, sudden dizziness or confusion, severe vomiting or persistent vomiting.
Dr. Smith cautioned against disregarding flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worsening cough, which may indicate a more serious illness such as pneumonia or bronchitis that could prove lethal if left untreated. These conditions should never be overlooked!
Symptoms of the H3N2 strain can include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, and fatigue. However, health officials say that if these symptoms are accompanied by any of the following, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Chest or abdominal pain
- Sudden dizziness or confusion
- Severe vomiting or persistent vomiting
- Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough
“These symptoms can be a sign of a more severe illness, such as pneumonia or bronchitis, which can be life-threatening if left untreated,” said Dr. Smith.
The CDC recommends that everyone six months and older get a flu vaccine every year, as well as practicing good hygiene habits such as washing hands frequently, avoiding close contact with sick individuals, and covering coughs and sneezes.
“If you think you may have the flu, it’s important to stay home and avoid contact with others to prevent the spread of the virus,” said Dr. Smith. “And if you experience any of the warning signs, seek medical attention right away.”
Health officials warn that flu season is expected to last through the spring, so it’s essential to take steps to protect yourself and those around you from H3N2 strain and other influenza viruses.
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