H3N2, one of the most severe influenza subtypes, is especially dangerous for the elderly and persons with impaired immune systems. If left untreated, H3N2 might cause the sufferer to choke to death. Even in a healthy population, leaving it untreated and failing to take the necessary precautions could result in death. Nevertheless, when the same virus strikes an elderly person or someone with underlying medical issues, things become more complicated. Hospitalizations in this area are currently at a low level, but if the healthcare system does not take the essential and crucial measures, and its incidence is not adequately addressed, hospitalisations may rise.
Elderly persons must be protected at all means to avoid infection because the virus messes with their bodies to such an extent that it could be dangerous for them because they are already vulnerable to a variety of problems. It is critical that the general public understands the dos and don’ts in this regard because hospitals cannot afford to witness an increase in hospitalisations, particularly among the elderly. In addition to the seasonal flu vaccination, the COVID-19 immunisation, which has been demonstrated in several studies to be effective in controlling the H3N2 strain of the virus, is critical in this case.
Despite the fact that both India and J&K have effective immunisation coverage, a percentage of the population has not received the third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, particularly among the elderly and those with comorbidities. It is vital to include those who have been excluded in order to boost COVID-19 and influenza protection. Furthermore, getting vaccinated can reduce a person’s risk of contracting the virus by up to 60%, according to statistics.
There is no denying that the H3N2 strain in Kashmir during the current season has once again increased the risk for the elderly population to contract the virus and experience serious complications, but there is always a solution that needs to be made known to the public so that they follow the SOPs and the preventive measures to keep the situation from spiralling out of control. In this case, the public health system must develop a strategy with the assistance of specialists to safeguard the weak. A strong public health response is essential!
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