2 H3N2 Deaths In Maharashtra Related To COVID Vaccine

A medical student (23) from Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar died due to pneumonia after being infected with Covid-19 and influenza A (H3N2) viruses, Ahmednagar civil surgeon Dr Sanjay Ghogare said on Wednesday.

The medical student is among the two suspected H3N2 deaths in the state so far. The second suspected death due to H3N2 is of a 74-year-old man from Nagpur, health minister Dr Tanaji Sawant told the state assembly on Wednesday.

Last week, the union health ministry reported two H3N2 deaths from Karnataka and Haryana. The student was admitted to a private hospital in Ahmednagar city on March 13 and died within a day of admission on March 14.

Ahmednagar health officials said the student had recently gone to Alibaug for four days and returned on March 6. From March 10, he developed cough, fever and headache.

“He had consulted a physician, who had advised him to get admitted to the hospital. But he refused and started self-medication. His condition deteriorated rapidly thereafter,” said a health official. The state health department has decided to conduct an audit of the two suspected H3N2 deaths.

Health minister Sawant stated in the assembly that 2.6 lakh people had been screened for influenza in Maharashtra since January. Of them, 303 have tested positive for influenza H1N1 (swine flu) and 58 for H3N2.

Doctors in the city on Tuesday attributed the severity of H3N2 infection among patients, especially children, to limited exposure to viruses during the Covid-19 pandemic. The observation followed data from private laboratories in the city, which showed that H3N2 was currently the dominating virus in the city, as seen globally, overtaking SARS-CoV-2 and H1N1.

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