H3N2 spurt: Docs propose flu shots for high-risk grps in Hyderabad | Hyderabad News

HYDERABAD: With rising H3N2 cases across the state, doctors have suggested flu vaccine, especially for people in the high-risk category.
While a large number of people previously exposed to Swine flu (during the 2009 pandemic caused by H1N1), experts claim that this would mean a basic level of herd immunity. “It will also provide some protection from newer variants. Nevertheless, people should take Quadriflu vaccine as swine flu is preventable with it. Quadriflu vaccine or quadrivalent influenza vaccine will protect people from most strains of Swine flu including H1N1, H2N2, British as well as other variants. The vaccine is easily available in the market and cost around 600,” Fever Hospital superintendent Dr K Shankar said.
While taking a flu shot is recommended for everyone, infants, elderly above 65 years of age, people with diabetes, hypertension, obesity, cardiac or kidney issues and people with compromised immunity like people living with HIV, Hepatitis are at high risk. These are the categories of people who must definitely take the vaccine shot.
People who have undergone an organ transplant also need to doubly protect themselves. “The most important thing for the high-risk category is take the vaccine and prevent getting infection at all costs, as it can be risky for this group of people if they get an infection. Wearing a mask, maintaining hand hygiene and social distancing are important norms for high risk people. Also, family members need to isolate themselves if they have symptoms,” Dr MV Rao, a general physician, said.
H3N2, however, is not dangerous for a normally healthy person, but taking the vaccine could stop the spread. “Pregnant women should be vaccinated against influenza (Swine flu is a mutation of Influenza A) and take inactivated vaccines. Both trivalent and quadrivalent vaccines are considered safe,” Dr Kiran Madala, critical care specialist and an ICMR-certified researcher, said.

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