After the outbreak of the seasonal H3N2 influenza across the country, two deaths have been reported in Karnataka and Haryana. So far, 3,038 laboratory-confirmed H3N2 influenza cases have been reported from across the country.
"Young children and old persons with co-morbidities are the most vulnerable groups for seasonal influenza. So far, Karnataka and Haryana have confirmed one death each from H3N2 influenza", the health ministry said on Friday.
Such cases are expected to decline from March end. State surveillance officers are fully geared to meet this public health challenge, the ministry said.
Near real-time surveillance of cases of Influenza-like Illness (ILI) and Severe Acute Respiratory Infections (SARI) presenting in OPDs and IPDs of health facilities is undertaken by the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP), National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
"According to the latest data available on IDSP-IHIP (Integrated Health Information Platform), a total of 3038 laboratory-confirmed cases of various subtypes of Influenza including H3N2 have been reported till 9th March 2023 by the States. This includes 1245 cases in January 1307 in February and 486 cases in March", the ministry said.
Further, the IDSP-IHIP data from health facilities indicate that during January 2023, a total of 397,814 cases of Acute Respiratory Illness/Influenza Like Illness (ARI/ILI) were reported from the country increased slightly to 436,523 during February 2023. In the first 9 days of March 2023, this number stands at 133,412 cases.
The corresponding data for admitted cases of severe acute respiratory illness is 7041 cases in January 2023, 6919 during February 2023, and 1866 during the first 9 days of March 2023.
As per the health ministry, a total of 955 H1N1 cases have been reported in February this year. The majority of the H1N1 cases have been reported from Tamil Nadu (545), Maharashtra (170), Gujarat (74), Kerala (42), and Punjab (28).
Seasonal influenza is an acute respiratory infection caused by influenza viruses that circulate in all parts of the world, and the cases are seen to increase during certain months globally. India every year witnesses two peaks of seasonal influenza: one from January to March and the other in the post-monsoon season. (KB/IANS)