Swine flu strain in­fec­tions reach triple dig­its: CDC

Modern Healthcare - - LATE NEWS -

Cases of a new, less dan­ger­ous strain of swine flu have surged re­cently, the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Preven­tion re­ported. The new­est strain of the H3N2 flu that spreads from pigs to peo­ple, called H3N2v, in­fected more than 150 peo­ple last week, up from 29 the pre­vi­ous week, ac­cord­ing to the CDC. In­di­ca­tions are that the new virus is much less dan­ger­ous than the 2009 strain that killed more than 12,000 world­wide, CDC of­fi­cials said in a news call. For in­stance, only two of the new pa­tients have re­quired even brief hos­pi­tal­iza­tions. And most of the new flu cases ap­pear to have spread from pigs to hu­mans, sug­gest­ing the strain is less con­ta­gious. Dr. Joseph Bre­see, an epi­demi­ol­o­gist in the CDC’s in­fluenza division, said most of the new cases were in In­di­ana (113) and Ohio (30). In­di­vid­u­als likely were in­fected while help­ing take care of pigs or when view­ing swine at sum­mer agri­cul­tural fairs, ac­cord­ing to the CDC. The CDC has been track­ing new cases of this swine flu strain since last year amid con­cerns that it could spread more eas­ily than other pig viruses be­cause it shares a gene from the 2009 pan­demic strain. The ex­ist­ing flu vac­cine will not pro­tect against the lat­est swine flu vari­ant, Bre­see said.

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