From this week's FluView Report, we learn that all four swine variant cases reported in the past ten days (see here and here) have been H1N2v - what has been the least common swine variant virus reported to the CDC since 2005.
In 2017, there were 62 H3N2v infections reported, while only 4 cases were reported with H1N2v.H1N2v remains in 3rd place among the 471 swine variant cases reported over the past 13 years, but now at 17 cases - it is rapidly gaining on 2nd place H1N1v (n=21). H3N2v remains - by far - the most common swine variant virus, with 434 cases reported.
Four human infections with novel influenza A viruses were reported by two states (California  and Michigan ). All four persons were infected with an influenza A(H1N2) variant (A(H1N2)v) virus and reported direct exposure to swine at an agricultural fair during the week preceding illness onset.
All four patients were children < 18 years of age, were not hospitalized, and are recovering or have fully recovered from their illness. No human-to-human transmission has been identified. These are the first A(H1N2)v virus infections detected in the United States in 2018.
Early identification and investigation of human infections with novel influenza A viruses are critical so that the risk of infection can be more fully understood and appropriate public health measures can be taken. Additional information on influenza in swine, variant influenza infection in humans, and strategies to interact safely with swine can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/swineflu/index.htm.
Additional information regarding human infections with novel influenza A viruses can be found at http://gis.cdc.gov/grasp/fluview/Novel_Influenza.html.
With county and state fair season ramping up across the country, there's a pretty good chance we may hear about more outbreaks in the months ahead. The CDC has some advice to fairgoers on how to help avoid infection (below), after which I'll return with a brief note about another (unsubstantiated) reporting making the rounds on the Internet today.
CDC Recommendations For People At High Risk:
If you are not at high risk, take these precautions:
- If you are at high risk of serious flu complications and are going to a fair where pigs will be present, avoid pigs and swine barns at the fair. This includes children younger than 5 years, people 65 years and older, pregnant women, and people with certain long-term health conditions (like asthma, diabetes, heart disease, weakened immune systems, and neurological or neurodevelopmental conditions).
- Don’t take food or drink into pig areas; don’t eat, drink or put anything in your mouth in pig areas.
- Don’t take toys, pacifiers, cups, baby bottles, strollers, or similar items into pig areas.
- Wash your hands often with soap and running water before and after exposure to pigs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid close contact with pigs that look or act ill.
- Take protective measures if you must come in contact with pigs that are known or suspected to be sick. This includes wearing personal protective equipment like protective clothing, gloves and masks that cover your mouth and nose when contact is required.
- To further reduce the risk of infection, minimize contact with pigs in the pig barn and arenas.
In other news . . . . but not deserving a blog of its own.
Overnight a number of news sites have carried a report - crediting Xinhua News - claiming that Bird flu kills one in Vietnam. I've looked, but have been unable to find the original Xinhua report.
The story (dated today) is getting a lot of play - particularly in the Turkish Language press - but I haven't been able to track down anything official from any of the Vietnamese alphabet agencies (CDC, MOH, MOA, etc.).
While it is possible this story is legit, there are some factual errors regarding H5N1's history in the article that give me additional pause.This may possibly be a `phantom' story, resurrected and reprinted from the archives of some news site, since we see that fairly often. I'll keep an eye on it over the weekend, but for now, I've very low confidence in this story.