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Influenza H3N2 or Covid-19 XBB 1.16? Here's how you can differentiate

As cases of Influenza H3N2, and Covid-19 variant XBB 1.16 are on the rise, here's how you can differentiate between the two

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Coronavirus | healthcare | BS Web Reports

BS Web Team  |  New Delhi 



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At present, Indians are facing threats from two kinds of viruses that have similar symptoms. Cases of Influenza H3N2, and Covid-19 variant XBB 1.16 have become common among people. In such a scenario, it becomes necessary that one does not resort to self-medication as experts are suggesting that incorrect medication can prove fatal.

Symptoms of H3N2:

If one experiences fever, wheezing, cough, breathlessness, and clinical signs of pneumonia, then it might H3N2.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) reports, out of the total number of patients hospitalised with severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) with H3N2, 92 per cent reported fever, 86 per cent had cough, and 27 per cent experienced breathlessness.

While treating H3N2 some patients may need ICU care or oxygen. India has so far, reported two deaths from the influenza virus and both patients had comorbidities. Underlying medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and lung cancer can make the impact of this virus more dangerous.

Symptoms of Covid-19 XBB 1.16

Patients may suffer from fever, sore throat, cold, headache, body aches, and fatigue due to this variant. The virus may also attack your digestive system and respiratory system.

How to get tested?

The ICMR has approved a novel RT-qPCR test kit designed by Chennai-based KRIYA Medical technologies that can detect influenza (H1N1, H3N2, Yamagata and Victoria sublineages), Covid-19, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

Since the initial symptoms are similar, it becomes all the more important to detect them at the initial stage and take the appropriate medication.

The RT-qPCR can effectively distinguish influenza, SARS-CoV-2 and respiratory syncytial virus and one can read the result within 50-60 minutes.

Also, practicing good hygiene, such as washing hands regularly and covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing, is important in preventing the infection and spread of the viruses.

(With agency inputs)


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First Published: Thu, March 16 2023. 19:25 IST

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