Of the 225 samples collected in January and February in Odisha, 59 were found positive for H3N2 influenza in the state, officials said on Saturday.
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.
"Out of the 225 samples collected in the month of January and February in Odisha, a total of 59 H3N2 influenza cases were found in the state," Regional Medical Research Centre, Bhubaneswar Director Sanghamitra Pati told PTI.
Symptoms are similar to those of seasonal flu viruses and can include fever and cough, she said.
Currently, there is "no definitive treatment available" for the virus and hence, people should "strictly follow the Covid guidelines to keep H3N2 at bay," Odisha Public Health Director Niranjan Mishra told reporters here.
There is need for increased monitoring and precautionary measures to ward off H3N2 but no cause for panic yet, say experts as India confirms its first two deaths due to the influenza virus.
In Karnataka, 82-year-old Hire Gowda, a diabetic who suffered from hypertension, died due to the seasonal influenza subtype on March 1. Another death, that of a 56-year-old lung cancer patient, was reported from Haryana.
From January 2 to March 5, 451 cases of the H3N2 have been reported in the country, according to data shared by the union health ministry on Friday.
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