Since the two lockdowns due to COVID-19 and strict hygiene measures, the incidence of influenza has been at a very low level until the beginning of 2022. Now the number of people infected with AH3N2 virus (influenza) is reportedly on the rise.
According to Defi Media, there is a steep increase in the number of flu cases in the country.
There are two main types of influenza virus that infect humans — Influenza A and Influenza B, according to the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The former has two subtypes — A (H3N2) and A (H1N1) — while the latter has two lineages — B/Yamagata and B/Victoria lineage.
The influenza B/Yamagata lineage has not been conclusively detected since April 2020, while the A (H3N2) subtype, A (H1N1) subtype and B/Victoria lineage have been circulating with “considerably less genetic diversity,” according to a study, the outcome of which was published in the Nature journal March 31, 2022.
H3N2 is included in the seasonal vaccine, but it is known to change and this may mean that the effect of the vaccine is reduced.
The newspaper cited Dr Fazil Khodabocus as claiming that the effects of H3N2 should not be taken lightly “as it causes the death of around 300,000 people worldwide every year”.
Besides the fourth anti-COVID-19 vaccines, the Ministry of Health has also kicked off a vaccination campaign against the AH1N1 and the AH3N2 targeting senior citizens, pregnant women, and children.
At present, however, a predominance of children and the younger part of the population aged 15-44 as well as +85 year olds are affected by influenza.
Symptoms of H3N2
- runny or congested nose.
- sore throat.
- body aches and pains.