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New cases of H3N2 swine flu in North America

on Fri, 08/24/2012 - 19:07

Fifty-two new cases of the novel swine-origin H3N2 influenza A virus has been reported in Northern America, mainly in Ohio (26) and Maryland (12), thus raising the total number of infected people to 276 since July 2012. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of Atlanta (CDC) confirmed that the main cause of this outbreak is the exposure to pigs, but three cases that could be due to human-to-human transmission have also been reported. Dr. Joseph Bresee, Chief of the Epidemiology and Prevention Branch in CDC’s Influenza Division, stated that “limited human-to-human spread of this virus has been seen in the past, but the H3N2 virus has not previously – and is not now – spreading easily from person-to-person.” These three cases are not epidemiologically linked to one another and they are thought to have occurred from one person to another person without further spread to additional people. CDC confirms that the H3N2 infection continues to be mild and very similar to seasonal flu in terms of symptoms. However, the CDC keeps monitoring for changes in the virus and in its possible human-to-human spread.