Child identified as first case of swine H3N2 reported in U.S. this year

U.S. public health officials have confirmed a new human infection with swine-origin H3N2 virus, also known as H3N2v virus, in a young girl living in Utah who visited a swine processing plant.

The girl is the 13th person confirmed to have been infected with the new virus since it was first reported in July. Twelve of the 13 cases have been in children under the age of 18, Canadian Press reports.

The girl was taken for medical care with a fever in late March and subsequently tested positive for influenza. She was given Tamiflu and has since recovered. No additional cases were found when close contacts and members of her family were tested.

The case is the farthest west the virus has been reported. Previous cases in humans have been reported in West Virginia, Iowa, Maine, Pennsylvania and Indiana. Approximately half of the cases had some contact with pigs, but the rest are thought to have spread via limited person-to-person contact. The H3N2v case is the first reported in the U.S. since November, according to Canadian Press.

Flu experts are keeping a close watch on the virus, which has a gene from the 2009 pandemic H1N1 virus that may enhance the ability of the virus to infect people. It is still unclear how much of a threat the swine H3N2 virus poses to people.