Tuesday, December 13, 2011
New Flu Virus Found in Limited Cases; CDC Has Developed a Candidate Vaccine
The following information is designed to bring our patients the most up-to-date and accurate information available on the prevalence and types of influenza virus noted during 2011.
NAUC physicians continue to encourage all patients and their families to receive the current flu vaccine. A recent report of a new swine-related flu strain has been announced by the Centers for Disease Control. This strain is limited in scope and geography and is being actively monitored. The CDC has also proactively developed a candidate vaccine as a health precaution.
Patients and families are urged to continue to guard against the spread of the virus by supporting their health through healthy eating and exercise; routine hand washing; avoiding contact with eyes and mouth and maintaining distance from those who are currently ill.
The following information was released, by the CDC, Dec. 3. For more information, or to have your flu questions answered, don't hesitate to call our office to learn more or to be vaccinated.
CDC Released H3N2 Information
On November 20, 2011, CDC confirmed three cases of swine-origin triple reassortant influenza A (H3N2) (S-OtrH3N2) virus infection in children in two counties in Iowa. None of the children were hospitalized, and each has recovered from a mild episode of febrile respiratory illness. All three were in contact with one another, and none had a known recent exposure to swine. No additional human infections with this virus have been detected in Iowa, and no evidence of sustained human-to-human transmission of this S-OtrH3N2 virus exists; surveillance is ongoing.
Eighteen human infections with swine-origin influenza A (H3N2) viruses have been identified since 2009. Since July 2011, a total of 10 cases of human infection with S-OtrH3N2 viruses have been identified in the United States, all containing the M gene from the pH1N1 virus. Seven of these 10 cases resulted in mild illness, but three of the infected persons were hospitalized for influenza; all patients have recovered. In all seven earlier cases, exposure to swine was identified in the patient or in a close contact of the patient. The lack of known exposure to swine in the three cases described in this report, combined with the known epidemiologic links, suggests that limited human-to-human transmission of this novel influenza virus might have occurred. Preliminary evidence from the investigation of these cases in Iowa shows no evidence of ongoing transmission among humans. Swine influenza viruses are spread from pig to pig but are not known to spread through human contact with pork or pork products.
Although the vast majority of human infections with animal influenza viruses do not result in human-to-human transmission, each case should be investigated fully to ascertain if these viruses are transmitted among humans and to limit further exposure of humans to infected animals, if infected animals are suspected. Such investigations require close collaboration among state, local, and federal public and animal health officials. As part of routine preparedness measures to counter possible pandemic threats posed by novel influenza viruses in the event that they gain the ability to spread easily from person-to-person, CDC has developed a candidate vaccine virus that could be used to produce a human influenza vaccine against these S-OtrH3N2 viruses and has provided this candidate virus to manufacturers.
The 2011–12 seasonal influenza vaccine is expected to provide limited protection from this virus for adults but none for young children. Additional information about swine influenza is available at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/swineflu
Posted by North Atlanta Urgent Care