Schools in India’s Puducherry shut in wake of H3N2 outbreak

PUDUCHERRY education minister A Namassivayam on Wednesday announced that all schools in Puducherry should be closed for 11 days in the wake of H3N2 virus outbreak.

According to the minister, classes from I to VIII in all government, government-aided and private schools will remain closed from March 16 to March 26 in view of the spread of the viral fever.

The local government declared the holidays after the Puducherry directorate of health and family welfare said children below the age of 15 years were more susceptible to the viral fever.

So far, Puducherry has reported 79 cases of influenza, belonging to the viral H3N2 subtype. However, no death related to H3N2 has been reported.

There has been a surge in influenza cases across many parts of India and patients are complaining of prolonged illness, cough, fever and respiratory problems.

The health ministry said it was keeping a close watch on the seasonal influenza situation in various states through the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) network on a real-time basis.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has issued an advisory on precautions for preventing seasonal influenza.

Earlier, the federal health ministry said Karnataka and Haryana had confirmed one death each from H3N2 influenza. (Xinhua/NAN)