H3N2 Aussies Flu, a near epidemic in Australia, UK and USA
H1N1 in Rajasthan India
The flu is rapidly spreading across the US, UK and Australia.
Not only did it start early, but it seemed to occur all over the country more or less simultaneously.
The predominant flu strain is H3N2. Vaccine effectiveness typically ranges from 40 to 60 percent in a good year. Preliminary estimates from last year show the vaccine was 40 percent effective in the U.S., similar to 2014-2015. But concerns have been raised about this year’s vaccine after an editorial published in the New England Journal of Medicine last Thursday said it was only 10 percent effective against H3N2 in Australia.
Additionally, years in which H3N2 is the predominant influenza strain tend to have higher death rates, with approximately 20,000 deaths in the 2012-2013 and 2014-2015 seasons when H3N2 predominated.
Good news is that H3N2 flu is quite susceptible to the available flu medications, like Tamiflu, also known as oseltamivir. Remember, it is most helpful if taken within 48 hours of the start of the flu. It can take up to two weeks for the body to build up defences against the virus.
It is especially important for pregnant women to get the vaccine. There is dual benefit for the pregnant woman to get vaccinated. Not only will she get protection, but she’ll also pass those antibodies along to her infant, which will protect them for the first 6 months of life when the infant is too young to get the vaccine. And the vaccine is safe for pregnant women and the fetus.
For those who contract the flu, it could make symptoms less severe. Next, make sure to wash hands carefully to limit the spread of the virus and try to avoid close contact with sick people.
People who get sick should also keep up with fluids — and seek medical attention if they start to feel worse or develop shortness of breath, worsening congestion or cough.
Public Health Concerns
1. Trace the first case of H3N2 in India
2. High risk people to consider vaccinations
3. Do not allow any person suffering from flu to enter public places
4. Give compulsory off to people suffering from flu
5. Learn cough etiquettes and respiratory hygiene