H3N2 is a strain of influenza virus that can cause seasonal flu in humans. The symptoms of H3N2 are similar to those of other strains of the flu and can include:
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Body aches
In most cases, H3N2 can be treated with over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to relieve symptoms. It is also important to get plenty of rest and stay hydrated.
If you suspect that you may have H3N2, it is important to see a healthcare professional who can diagnose the illness through a physical exam and/or laboratory testing. A rapid influenza diagnostic test (RIDT) can be performed to quickly detect the presence of influenza virus in respiratory samples, but it is not always accurate.
Antiviral medications, such as oseltamivir and zanamivir, can be prescribed by a healthcare professional to help reduce the severity and duration of H3N2 symptoms. These medications work best when started within the first 48 hours of illness.
To prevent the spread of H3N2, it is important to practice good hygiene habits, such as washing your hands frequently, covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and avoiding close contact with others who are sick. Annual influenza vaccination is also recommended to help prevent infection with H3N2 and other strains of influenza.