H3N2 is a subtype of the influenza A virus that can cause illness in humans and animals. It was first identified in 1968 when it caused a pandemic that spread worldwide, causing significant illness and death.
The H3N2 virus is a type of RNA virus that can mutate rapidly, making it challenging to develop effective vaccines against it. It is transmitted from person to person through the air by coughing, sneezing, or talking, as well as by touching surfaces contaminated with the virus.
Symptoms, Causes & Prevention
Symptoms of H3N2 infection are similar to those of other types of influenza and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, and fatigue. In some cases, the infection can cause severe respiratory illness and lead to hospitalization or even death, particularly in older adults, young children, and individuals with underlying health conditions.
While vaccines are available to help prevent H3N2 infection, they may not always be effective due to the virus’s ability to mutate. Other preventative measures include frequent hand washing, avoiding close contact with sick individuals, covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and staying home if you are sick.
The H3N2 virus continues to circulate globally and can cause seasonal outbreaks of influenza each year. Healthcare professionals and public health officials closely monitor the virus’s spread and work to develop new vaccines and treatments to combat it.