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Doctors warn against self-medication in H3N2 flu

Hyderabad/Lucknow: With influenza A subtype H3N2 virus claiming two lives in India, one each in Karnataka and Haryana, doctors in Lucknow have urged people to avoid self-medication.

Sheetal Verma, senior faculty department of microbiology at King George’s Medical University (KGMU) said, “The influenza A virus sub-type H3N2 is nothing new but as people are experiencing longer spells of cough, self-medication should be strictly avoided. There is nothing to panic. This variant does not lead to a pandemic but taking precautions against it will certainly help.”

She said that it is better for people experiencing fever, cough or respiratory distress to consult a doctor instead of buying a drug over-the-counter because this flu variant is different.

According to doctors, the precautions people should take include — keeping body immunity adequate and avoiding close contact with unknown people, particularly avoiding crowded places.

Abhishek Shukla, Secretary General of the Association of International Doctors, said, “A majority of those experiencing a longer spell of cough these days have poor body immunity may be due to age (elderly) or due to some other pre-existing illness.”

P.K. Gupta, former President, IMA, Lucknow, said, “Children and elderly are the most vulnerable. They are advised to avoid cold weather conditions during the morning and late evening. This will reduce the chance of getting infected. Everyone should avoid self-medication.”