Published Date: 2011-11-02 15:54:18
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Influenza (63): USA (ME, NOT NH) swine-origin H3N2 reassortant
Archive Number: 20111102.3260
INFLUENZA (63): USA (MAINE, NOT NEW HAMPSHIRE) SWINE-ORIGIN H3N2
A ProMED-mail posthttp://www.promedmail.org
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseaseshttp://www.isid.org
Date: Sun 23 Oct 2011
Source: Nashua Telegraph [edited]http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/newsstat ... asses.html
New Hampshire residents who work with pigs are being cautioned to keep an eye out for flu-like symptoms after a Maine child became sick from [a] "novel influenza virus" [infection]. The child had contact with pigs, including time spent in a closed setting at an agricultural fair, public health officials said. The child became sick earlier this month [October 2011]. So far, officials said Friday [21 Oct 2011], the case of the child in Cumberland County, Maine, "is an isolated event. They said Maine "is not aware of any person-to-person transmission."
Public health officials have long feared a new, dangerous strain of influenza would be bred in animals and passed to people, where it would have the ability to spread throughout the human population in a manner similar to the devastating 1918 influenza pandemic. That concern explains the enormous publicity and reaction to the so-called swine flu scare of 2009, which petered out when the H1N1 strain proved less dangerous than feared.
The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention and federal health authorities are investigating the latest case, which is unusual, although not unique. Since 2005, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports, there have been 26 cases of flu virus passing from pigs to people. None of those cases have resulted in disease that passes from people to other people.
"Swine-origin influenza is rare in humans, but veterinarians should remind owners and those who work closely with swine to watch for symptoms of ILI (influenza-like illness) in themselves and their families," said the announcement from Maine, which was passed on to New Hampshire veterinarians on Thursday [20 Oct 2011]. "Any person with ILI, defined as fever greater than 100 deg F [38 deg C] with cough or sore throat, should contact their primary care provider for follow-up."
Influenza can have a variety of signatures, differentiated by the letters H and N, which stand for different proteins on the surface of the virus. There are 16 types of H (hemagglutinin) and 9 types of N (neuraminidase), meaning up to 1454 strains of flu can exist, which is why tracking and vaccinating for the disease is difficult.
Officials said the influenza in the Maine case is similar to rare human infections with swine-origin H3N2 viruses, but it also contains a genetic component of the pandemic H1N1 virus. This is genetically similar to 4 previous cases identified in the United States this year , 3 in Pennsylvania and one in Indiana, all of which had exposure to swine.
[Byline: David Brooks]
-- Communicated by: ProMED-mail
[This press report has been incorrectly interpreted elsewhere as confirmation of transmission of a swine-origin reassortant A/H3N2 influenza virus to humans from pigs in New Hampshire. Transmission of this strain of influenza virus occurred in isolated cases in the states of Indiana, Maine, and Pennsylvania, with no onward human-to-human transmission. These cases are described in detail in the ProMED-mail references below.
No transmission (or isolation) of this swine-origin reassortant H3N2 influenza virus has occurred in the state of New Hampshire as far as is known at present.
The HealthMap/ProMED-mail interactive map of the state of Maine can be accessed at http://healthmap.org/r/1m1U
. - Mod.CP]
Influenza (60): USA (ME) swine-origin H3N2 reassortant 20111021.3134
Influenza (54): (PA) swine-origin H3N2 reassortant, comment
Influenza (52): (PA), swine-origin H3N2 reassortant, 3 cases
Influenza (51): swine-origin H3N2 reassortant, children 20110902.2685
Influenza (40): H3N2/H1N1 reassortant ex patient 20110609.1749]