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A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: Sat 30 Sep 2017
Source: Outbreak News Today [edited]

In a follow-up on the situation in Maryland with the influenza virus strain H3N2v (variant flu) linked to exposure to swine, the Maryland Department of Health now puts the case tally at 37 presumptive positive and confirmed cases (including 2 hospitalizations).

Patients reported exposure to swine at one of 3 agricultural fairs during the week preceding illness onset. Swine influenza A(H3N2) viruses were identified from respiratory samples collected from pigs at 2 of the 3 fairs.

In addition, Delaware's Division of Public Health reported that state's 1st H3N2v case, involving a girl who had contact with pigs at the Anne Arundel County Fair in Maryland.

Influenza is an infection caused by the influenza virus which can affect people and other animals, including pigs and birds. Symptoms for the H3N2v strain are the same as seasonal flu and include fever and respiratory symptoms, such as sore throat and cough. Like seasonal influenza, variant influenza typically causes mild illness.

Certain people are at higher risk for complications of influenza, including children under 5, the elderly, pregnant women, and those with chronic heart, lung, liver, kidney and neurologic conditions or immunosuppression. These individuals should consider avoiding exposure to pigs and swine barns, especially where sick pigs have been identified.

Historically, there is limited human-to-human transmission from this strain of variant flu. The treatment recommendations for this strain of influenza are the same as for seasonal flu.

It is recommended that people with influenza-like illness contact their healthcare provider and inform them if they have had pig contact within the past 7 days.

In addition to the cases in Maryland (37) and Delaware (1), the CDC has confirmed cases in North Dakota (1), Ohio (15), Pennsylvania (1), and Texas (1) this year [2017].

Communicated by:
ProMED-mail from HealthMap Alerts

[According to the CDC "Swine flu viruses do not normally infect humans. However, sporadic human infections with influenza viruses that normally circulate in swine and not people have occurred. When this happens, these viruses are called "variant viruses." They also can be denoted by adding the letter "v" to the end of the virus subtype designation. Human infections with H1N1v, H3N2v and H1N2v viruses have been detected in the United States."

The virus in pigs is extremely contagious and very easily spread. Pigs multiply viruses like little virus factories and can produce millions of virus-laden particles with a snort or sneeze. These particles are easily airborne, and consequently seeking a host. Humans and other pigs fulfill that need.

It is likely as fall fairs, shows, exhibits get underway that we will see many more of these situations. - Mod.TG

A HealthMap/ProMED-mail map can be accessed at:]

See Also

Influenza, swine - USA (10): (DE, MD) human, porcine at fair 20170930.5350726
Influenza, swine - USA (09): (MD) agricultural fair 20170927.5340702
Influenza, swine - USA (08): (MD) H3N2v 20170923.5335679
Influenza, swine - USA (07): H3N2v 20170819.5261629
Influenza, swine - USA (06): (ND) H3N2v 20170818.5254537
Influenza, swine - USA (05): (OH) H3N2v, conf. 20170730.5215014
Influenza, swine - USA (04): (OH) H3N2, human cases susp 20170723.5196928
Influenza, swine - USA (03): (WI) 20170722.5196850
Influenza, swine - USA (02): H1N2 20170720.5191711
Influenza, swine - USA: (OH) H3N2 20170717.5180499
Influenza, swine (06): USA (OH) H3N2 20160822.4432007
Influenza, swine (05): USA (MI) human cases increase, H3N2v 20160821.4431010
Influenza, swine (04): USA (MI) 20160818.4423683
Influenza, swine (03): USA (MI) 20160811.4408096
Influenza, swine (02): USA (MI) human case, H3N2V 20160807.4399461
Influenza, swine: USA (MN,IA) study 20160114.3936806
Influenza, swine (05): USA (MI,MN) novel strains, human case H3N2v 20150905.3626427
Influenza, swine (04): USA (IA) novel strains H1N1v, H3N2v, human infection 20150830.3612253
Influenza, swine (03): USA, evolutionary dynamics IAV in swine, human threat 20150806.3562409
Influenza, swine (02): USA (MN) novel strains, human infection 20150804.3556121
Influenza, swine - USA: (MN) novel strains, human case H3N2v 20150726.3537522
Influenza, swine - USA: novel strains, H3N1, alert 20140916.2776180
Influenza (101): USA (OH), A(H3N2)v, swine to human transmission 20121026.1367194

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