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Monday, August 20, 2012

Swine Flu: More H3N2 influenza cases surface‎ in America

As of the end of last week 159 people in nine states had been identified with H3N2 influenza virus infections this year. Most of the recent cases have occurred after contact with pigs at county or state fairs.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health (PDH) reports four confirmed and six probable human cases of influenza due to the H3N2v strain. The Pennsylvania cases occurred among youth participants in the Huntingdon County Fair, Aug. 5-11. PDH reports no hospitalizations, and although the investigation is ongoing, there is no evidence of the strain spreading from person-to-person.

This is the same virus that recently caused illness in several other states, particularly in Indiana (138 cases) and Ohio (72 cases), mostly among children who were exhibitors at or attended agricultural fairs.

Also last week, the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene confirmed the first two cases of H3N2v influenza virus infection in that state. One case involved a teenager exhibiting pigs at the Wisconsin State Fair; the other involved a state fair worker.

H3N2 influenza viruses occur in pigs but usually do not infect humans, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Read More