New Influenza in United States

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“Iowa reports three novel swine-origin H3N2 cases”

Another influenza strain has appeared in the United States.  Cases are limited, and most are associated with direct contact with pigs.  Cases spread from person to person remain limited. The virus is a swine-origin triple-recombinant H3N2 that includes the matrix gene from the 2009 H1N1 virus.

  • As of yesterday, 10 cases have been counted in Pennsylvania, Maine, Indiana, and Iowa. 
  • Symptoms are similar to seasonal flu and include fever, cough, tiredness, body aches, and loss of appetite. None of the patients were seriously ill, and all have recovered.
  • The current flu vaccine does not contain this particular strain, but may offer some protection against the novel strain.
  • Personal protective measures such as covering coughs and sneezes and staying home when sick are important.

Though rare, the swine-origin flu infections in humans can occur, especially after close contact with swine.

Swine-origin viruses have shown sensitivity to antiviral drugs oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza), it said.

From: CIDRAP News, Nov 22, 2011

Roger Miller, MD (OSU Student Health Services)