Upsurge in H3N2v swine flu strain

pigA recent report in the LA times has confirmed the recent upsurge in the H3N2 swine flu strain. Over the past month, there have been 145 cases of infection with the H3N2 variant swine flu. This signifies a large jump from previous weeks cases and an imminent threat explained officials from the CDC.

The CDC has recommended that all children be kept away from exposure to infected pigs at state and county agricultural fairs, as these are the causes of most infected persons.  "Sneezes and coughs from sick animals in fairground pens can sicken nearby people, who typically come down with a mild illness not unlike the seasonal flu. Two people have been hospitalized with complications from their illness, but both are now home", said CDC flu epidemiology chief Dr. Joseph Bresee.

The outbreak has affected four states so far, with 113 of the confirmed cases in Indiana, 30 in Ohio, and one each in Illinois and Hawaii.  More than 90% of cases were in children. Starting this week, the CDC will issue weekly updates of confirmed cases each Friday. Bresee said he anticipated numbers would continue to rise.

This year’s seasonal flu vaccine will not provide protection against H3N2v. The recent surge of the H3N2 strain poses the question of whether or not flu manufacturers would have the resources to be prepared in the face of the a sudden flu pandemic and upsurge in the need for vaccines, after a series of mild flu seasons. 

To hear more about the discussion of pandemic preparedness and how this recent surge in swine flu could affect the flu development and manufacturing industry, attend the Influenza Congress USA in Washington D.C. this upcoming November.

To learn more about the Influenza Congress USA – click here.

To read the original article from the LA Times – click here.

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