H3N2 Flu: Symptoms and Treatment

January 12, 2024

H3N2 Flu: Symptoms and Treatment
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H3N2 is a virus which is a subtype of influenza. that often causes serious illness.  The seasonal flu strain H3N2 is prevalent each year, and taking flu vaccinations can provide some protection against it.

What is the flu?

Autumn and winter are prime times for the viral respiratory illness known as the flu.  When an infected person coughs or sneezes, the virus can enter other people’s mouths or noses and spread to them. Different influenza (flu) strains, such as influenza A and influenza B, cause seasonal epidemics. 

How does the H3N2 virus work?

H3N2 is a prevalent type of seasonal flu virus. Only influenza A has additional subtypes, despite the fact that influenza comes in multiple varieties. H3N2 and H1N1 are the two main subtypes of influenza A. The two main subtypes that humans can catch from each other are H3N2 and H1N1. H3N2 influenza viruses have been associated with more severe flu seasons and are more resistant to vaccinations than other flu subtypes.

The H3N2 virus is a non-human influenza virus that can infect humans even though it usually affects pigs.The H3N2 virus originated in pigs and was first detected in humans in 2011. H3N2 is not as harmful as H1N1, but it may still be more harmful than other flu viruses.

What are the symptoms of H3N2 Flu?

The following symptoms of the H3N2 virus are very similar to those of other seasonal flus:

  • Body Aches and exhaustion
  • Headaches
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Minor congestion
  • Vomiting and diarrhoea (usually in children)

What are the complications of H3N2 Flu?

H3N2 complications primarily affect the elderly, those over the age of 60 with a history of heart disease, people with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women, particularly those in the second or third trimester. Also children below the age of 5 years  fall under the high risk category in which H3N2 related complications can occur.

H3N2 can lead to serious complications such as pneumonia and bronchitis in severe cases.

How to diagnose H3N2 Flu?

If you feel that you have symptoms of H3N2 flu, you should contact your doctor for a check-up. While the H3N2 flu shares many symptoms with other flus, most doctors are able to identify it. RT- PCR test might be advised by your doctor to confirm the diagnosis.

What is the treatment for H3N2 flu?

The course of treatment for H3N2 flu is determined by the severity and individual symptoms. Simple H3N2 cases are handled the same way as any other seasonal flu.At-home caring can help during the recovery time, such as:

  • Getting enough sleep
  • Keeping yourself hydrated by consuming enough liquids (water, juice, and soups) 
  • Using over-the-counter drugs to treat body aches, headaches, and fever

In some cases where the symptoms turn more severe, your doctor might prescribe antiviral medications.

How can I prevent H3N2 flu?

A few preventative measures that can be taken to stop the spread of H3N2 are as follows: 

  • Washing hands with soap more often and practising good hygiene.
  • Staying at home if feeling unwell
  • Using a surface disinfectant as the H3N2 virus is active for 48 hours on any surface.
  • Getting plenty of rest and sticking to a healthy lifestyle.

When should I visit a doctor?

If you have the following symptoms, it’s time for you to visit your doctor. The following are H3N2 flu symptoms that need immediate diagnosis :

  • Chest pain or pressure 
  • Dizziness 
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Severe vomiting 
  • Persistent confusion


H3N2 flu,is a serious viral infection and can be fatal or considerably worsen health, particularly in susceptible groups like young children and the elderly. Frequent hand washing and keeping safe distance from infected individuals, can act as a safeguard from the flu as there is currently no vaccination against H3N2.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is H3N2 flu contagious?

The H2N2 flu is highly contagious and spreads by liquid droplets. When someone coughs, sneezes, talks, or breathes near them,they can transmit the virus to that person through these droplets.

2. Is there an H3N2 flu vaccine?

No vaccine specifically guards against H3N2 flu yet. There are influenza vaccinations that offer defence against three or four flu virus strains, which are related to influenza B and H1N1 viruses.

3. Can H3N2 be treated at home?

Most people with H3N2 flu can get well by themselves, at home.However, your doctor might recommend antiviral drugs if you are more likely to experience complications due to H3N2 flu.

4. How soon can I resume work, if I am sick with H3N2 flu?

Avoid going out in public if you have the H3N2 flu in order to stop the infection from spreading. After the fever has gone down, it is advised to remain at home for at least 24 hours.

Disclaimer: We recommend consulting a Doctor before taking any action based on the above shared information.


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