The central government sources have said that H3N2, the sub-type of the Influenza A virus, has claimed two lives in the country. While one person died in Haryana, the other fatality was reported from Karnataka.

According to sources in the Health ministry, the person was a resident of Hassan district. This comes days after Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar said there was no need to panic over the H3N2 virus.

The deceased has been identified as Hire Gowda (82) who died on March 1. He was admitted to a hospital on February 24. His samples were sent for testing on March 6, after which it was confirmed that he died from the H3N2 virus.

It is an influenza virus that causes respiratory infection. The virus can also infect birds and mammals. In bird and other animals, it has mutated into many strains.

India has recorded a sudden outbreak of the H3N2 influenza with hospitals across the country reporting thousands of cases over the past few months. The H3N2 virus is a type of influenza virus called the influenza A virus.

Former AIIMS-Delhi Director Dr Randeep Guleria said the influenza cases present as fever accompanied by sore throat, cough, body aches and runny nose. The symptoms also include diarrhoea, vomiting and breathlessness.

The ICMR had issued an advisory asking people to avoid self-medication and use of antibiotics in this influenza outbreak. In cases of fever and bodyache, the ICMR has advised the use of paracetamol.

If a patient has severe symptoms or is at a high risk of problems, a doctor may also recommend antiviral drugs such as oseltamivir and zanamivir.