Outbreak of H3N2 influenza
The news that two deaths in India this year were caused by the H3N2 influenza virus is distressing and has caused concern among citizens and the government, particularly with the ongoing COVID pandemic still fresh in people’s memories. The health officials in the country have been alerted to the fact that the H3N2 virus can result in both flu outbreaks and epidemics. The Union Government has been tracking the situation across all states real-time through its Integrated Disease Surveillance Project (IDSP).
H3N2 was the influenza pandemic that struck the world in 1968 and killed close to 1 million people. Experts say that an infection caused by the H3N2 virus or the influenza A virus is characterized by high fever, breathing issues, fatigue, and dry cough, and the symptoms can linger in the body for up to 3 weeks. Recently, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) experts reported that the persistent cough, which has been reported across the country for the past two to three months, is due to Influenza A subtype H3N2, sometimes accompanied by fever. An advisory has stated that increased monitoring and precautionary measures are necessary to prevent the spread of H3N2.
As there is no definitive treatment currently available for the H3N2 virus, experts recommend that people strictly adhere to Covid guidelines to prevent its spread. The warning also urges people to use masks and to cover their faces with fabric or handkerchiefs if they have cold or flu symptoms in order to stop the spread of H3N2.
Dr Krishna Kumar Vepakomma
Not at commoners’ expense
To create a Guinness World Record is very rare honour for anyone. April 14 will be a memorable day for Assam and all Asomiyas. On this very day, around 11,000 Bihu dancers from all over Assam will be performing Bihu dance at the Sarusajai Stadium in front of Prime Minister Modi, which in turn will create a Guinness World Record. Necessary preparations for this mega show have already started with thousands of Bihu dancers practicing rigorously.
We always welcome this move by the present government which is going to create a milestone for our Bihu culture before the entire world. But at the very same time our government should be careful not to tax the common people for the sake of any world record as in the meantime we are very much pressed with the daily increase of prices of essential commodities like cooking gas, petrol, diesel, hike in road taxes, power tariffs, property tax etc. to name a few.
Any Guinness Record without harassing the common people is always welcome.
Dr Ashim Chowdhury
Misdemeanor on trains
There have been close-on-the-heels misdemeanor by government servants on trains much to the common man’s disgust and dismay. Not that the unsavoury incidents that have taken place are alien to a regular train commuter. Far from it, they reveal the sad state of affairs governing the Indian Railways. One traveling ticket examiner (TTE) is said to have urinated on a woman passenger’s head while another reportedly pulled down a girl when she showed the ticket on her mobile phone, and two uniformed policemen fought with a TTE when the latter asked a plain clothed policeman his ticket in an AC coach. Due to the advent of smartphones and social media, such shameless happenings are coming to the fore.
In at least two of the three recent incidents, alcohol was the common denominator. There absolutely is no check on the use of alcohol on trains. Some TTEs, railway staff and a few policemen are consistently found drunk. Gullible passengers are their targets. Many passengers keep mum and move on, but not all. One is eager to know whether the Indian Railways has a plan in place to keep a tab on drunk staff? What about the safety of passengers who are at the receiving end of these drunkards? Shouldn’t the Railways also be acting fast to keep unauthorized people out of its portals?