12 people infected with subtype of swine flu H3N2
The day before Christmas Eve the CDC had confirmed two more new flu infections the H3N2 and variant H1N1.
The H3N2 case had been reported in child from West Virginia, the reassortant strain includes the M gene from the 2009 H1N1 pandemic virus.
In 2009, the H1N1 virus had seen 43 million to 89 million Americans catching the flu strain resulting in 8,870 to 18,300 deaths according to the CDC.
August 2010 had brought an end to the H1NI officially declared by the World Health Organization.
According to the CDC the novel H1N1 virus is triple-reassortant viruses, ones that contain genes from avian, swine and human flu viruses and have been circulating since the 1990’s. A review of genome sequencing databases suggests that the variant contains the M gene from the 2009 H1N1 virus and has been found in the United States swine 2010. However, this case marks the first detection of the strain in humans.
Since August 12th the CDC has reported 12 people are infected with the H3N2 virus in the states of Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
According to the report officials have observed two different methods of transmission; workers getting the virus from pigs and the second which is the reason for the two cases at the West Virginia day care, human contact.
U. S. public health officials the person in Wisconsin infected had contact with pigs and appears to be a single incidence with no signs of further spread. A separate released had disclosed it involved the new H1N1 virus with genes from avian,swine and human. The Indiana case also involved a man who had worked with pigs.
The latest H3N2 cases is the twelfth case reported in the United States.
In the earlier time of the 2009 pandemic the agriculture sector had voiced loud objections when the health officials when they referred to the new virus as swine influenza virus. This had left pork sales taking a deep plunge and the industry has concerns this could happen again due to new reports of human virus infections with swine flu viruses.
Due to this WHO and the UN’s World Agriculture Organization have agreed to name this viruses “H3N2 variants” or H3N2v for short. Also, the new H1N1 virus will also be called H1N1v.
Among the cases reported six of them did involve contact with pigs however, the other six spread among human contact but is limited so far.
The West Virginia report does suggest there could have been a few more cases. That latest case involved a child under the age of five who attended the same daycare as the earlier case of H3N2v. However, more than ten days had passed before the onset of the first case to the onset of the second which is suggest that human contact between the children was not the cause.
There had been numerous contacts between the children in the daycare including the children of the first two cases that reported to have respiratory illness in the period when the cases occurred. Most were not tested for the flu.
Flu experts are observing with concern only. As to which path the virus will take is still uncertain at this time. It just may diminish or remain circulating at low levels mainly in the young children or it could spread on a broad scale.
Dr. Adolfo Garcia-Sastre, PhD, professor, Microbiology, Influenza researcher at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, stated if the virus jumps to human contact he does not believe it would be a big public nightmare, but believes it could establish a second lineage of H3’s which would make it very difficult to handle from the point of view of a vaccine.
As for this years flu vaccine CDC scientists state it will provide adults with limited protection from this new flu virus and will not help children at all. They are suggesting physicians who suspect swine flu infections to use Tamiflu as a treatment where it is appropriate. They are to take nose and throat specimens and sent the to their state public health labs which should report them to the CDC.
The CDC is encouraging anyone who has contact with pigs and develops flu like symptoms to be tested.
Reported on October 11th two confirmed cases were detected in southeast Michigan. Influenza A/H3 was confirmed in a Wayne county adult the other case influenza B in Washtenaw county adult.
Michigan flu activity is sporadic, the lowest of four activity categories tracked.
In October, the University of Minnesota researchers had revealed their new research published online by the Lancet Infectious Diseases that they flu vaccine only does protect 59% aged 18 to 69 and was especially lacking in effectiveness in children age 2 to seventeen. Researchers at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill revealed that the vaccine is less effective in those who are overweight or obese.
Health experts still advocate to have the vaccine which is better than not having one at all even though it is only effective in 59% of persons. It will also not provide protection for all the influenza strains. They are noting thought it could help in preventing illnesses, hospitalizations and even deaths.
Tamiflu may cause adverse events. Nausea and vomiting may occur if either persists notify your physician or pharmacist immediately. Many people do not have serious side effects. For information on Tamiflu and its negative effects can be found on WebMD.
CVS Caremark in partnership with Direct Relief USA giving free flu shots to community clinics and healthcare patients who do not have insurance.
In Detroit participating clinics:
Advantage Health Centers
4777 East Outer Drive
M, T, Th, F: 8am – 5pm; W: 11am – 7pm
Joy Southfield Community Health
18917 Joy Road
Tuesday 6-8 pm ,Wednesday 10am-2pm ,Thursday (first and third) 6-8 pm Saturday (second and fourth) 10am-2pm
Dr. Albert B Cleage SR Memorial Health Center
700 Sward Street
Mon.-Fri., 9:00 a. m.-5:00 p. m.