Symptoms of H3N2 infection are similar to those of seasonal flu and may include fever, cough, runny nose, body aches, nausea, diarrhea. Home remedies could help minimise the symptoms, but they are unlikely to cure the flu.
By Toibah Kirmani and Tej Kumar
With H3N2 cases on the rise, the internet is rife with rumours and misinformation. Can home remedies protect individuals from this virus? Can those with severe acute respiratory infections or influenza-like illnesses count on home-made juices and concoctions to fight the ailment?
A viral YouTube video in Telugu claims that consuming a juice made from ivy gourds, cluster beans, and lemons can cure H3N2 flu, while another YouTube video in Telugu claims that a drink made of ginger and basil leaves can safeguard us from the H3N2 virus.
First Check reached out to Dr Parvaiz Koul, Director, Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), India and influenza researcher, to check the veracity of these claims. “I do not know of any clinical trials that have been conducted in a scientific environment to test the efficacy of these juices against influenza. While we do recommend rest and warm fluids to anyone with influenza, there is no data to support the claim that these home therapies are effective,” said the pulmonologist and internist.
Symptoms of H3N2 infection are similar to those of seasonal flu and may include fever, cough, runny nose, body aches, nausea, or diarrhea. Home remedies could help minimise these symptoms, but they are unlikely to cure the flu. “While some laboratory studies suggest that herbal remedies like ginseng, liquorice, and others may be useful against respiratory viruses, they are not an appropriate treatment for H3N2. Overall, the evidence is shaky,” noted Dr Parvaiz.
In case you or anyone you know, particularly senior citizens and those living with chronic ailments like diabetes, is experiencing severe symptoms of H3N2, it’s best to seek medical attention from a qualified healthcare professional, who can prescribe antiviral drugs to treat the infection.