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H9N2 Virus Spreading Among Children, Has Connection With Winter: Dr Subhash Giri From Lady Harding Hospital

The children who do not have any immunity if they get exposed to H9N2, which is quite a contagious virus that is spreading and added to that where the immunity is lower, the probability of developing pneumonia is very high, Dr Giri said

H9N2 Virus Spreading Among Children, Has Connection With Winter: Dr Subhash Giri From Lady Harding Hospital
H9N2 is a serotype influenza virus. The influenza virus is a common virus that comes at the end of the season, especially when there is the onset of winter.

New Delhi: After the Union Health Ministry recently said that it is closely monitoring the reported outbreak of H9N2 cases and clusters of respiratory illness in children, Director of Lady Harding Hospital, Dr Subhash Giri reiterated to take precautions and said that H9N2 virus is spreading among children and it has connection with winter. Dr Subhash Giri, Director of Lady Harding Hospital, said, “At present, in China, the children who are born in this period or the children who are not exposed to the other viruses except COVID. Their immunity to the other routine viruses that caused the URI is far lower. It includes the immunity for influenza as well, and when the serotype is changed to H9N2, the immunity is still very low in these cases.”

Also Read: India Prepared, See No Threat From China Respiratory Infections: Safdarjung Hospital’s Pulmonary Head

H9N2 has stirred quite a lot of news in China, especially where children are being admitted with pneumonia. The reason for the H9N2 infection in China is that there was a lockdown due to COVID over there and the lockdown was strictly being followed by the government and people had to follow all the instructions of the government. Dr Giri said,

The children who do not have any immunity if they get exposed to H9N2, which is quite a contagious virus that is spreading and added to that where the immunity is lower, the probability of developing pneumonia is very high. Routinely, influenza is present with upper respiratory tract infections, throat infections, rhinitis, cough pain, body aches and fever. But where the immunity is lower, the probability of developing pneumonia is very high. And that is what is being seen in China.

H9N2 is a serotype influenza virus. The influenza virus is a common virus that comes at the end of the season, especially when there is the onset of winter. Dr Giri said,

The difference over here is that routinely during the winter we have various viruses that cause upper respiratory tract infections. In China, one virus has become quite prevalent; that stereotype is H9N2. The difference is that when we talk about our society in India, we have routine viruses, which are, accordingly, viral throat infections, upper respiratory tract infections and viral fever.

Also Read: H9N2 Avian Influenza Virus: Know The Causes, Symptoms And Preventive Measures

Notably, at the onset of winter, pain in throat has been witnessed in many patients which is similar to the other routine virus and it is not H9N2. As of date, the Indian government has also taken swift action; this virus has not been isolated yet and people need not be worried or panicked about whether this virus will come to India or not.

The doctor said,

The immunity of our children in India is far better than the immunity of the Chinese children. So the probability of having admissions for infections in the lung or pneumonia shall be very low in our scenario because in our country, people are more open to the environment and their immunity is far better than in developed countries. So that is why their immunity to influenza is also very good.

Because of the winter season, usually, even in adults, a lot of patients are coming with URIs and infections. However, this does not mean that there is a sudden surge in the number of patients. This is a routine patient who is coming to the OPD. In ENT OPD and in paediatric OPD, this is routine. Dr Giri added,

I will not say that something very extraordinary is going on, although during the pollution there was a certain surge of some elderly patients who were coming and being admitted with complications. But this routine virus that is presenting itself to the children is not causing any complications per se, so there should not be any panic about it.

Also Read: Centre Advises States To Review Hospital Preparedness Amid Rise In Cases Of Respiratory Illness In China

Meanwhile, Union Health Ministry has come up with many preventive steps like – isolation bed or isolation wards, equipment and other things in place.

For any viral infection that is within the house or within the community, we always say that one should wear a mask and should stay in his house and in his room. Basically, viral spreads within the community and within the house. If one person gets infected, be it a child or the mother, then other members of the family will get infected. So we always say to stay away and keep all the preventive measures. He added,

In the same way, the precautions over here will also be the same but if any surge for H9N2 comes, then we probably need to gear up just like we did during COVID. I personally feel that I’m not finding any region where this virus will cause any problems or panic in India. It should not cause any panic.

Also Read: Ayushman Bharat Cards Play Pivotal Role In Last-Mile Delivery Of Free Healthcare Benefits: Union Health Minister

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which in its Season 10 is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Ayushmann Khurrana. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In a world post COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental well-being, self-care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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