FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2016

Increase in U.S. H3N2 activity reported

New reports from three states suggest an increase in H3N2 swine-origin influenza activity.

One human case of H3N2 was confirmed in Hawaii and suspected human cases have been reported in Ohio and Indiana in connection with county fairs. In all of the incidents, those involved had recent contact with swine, according to CIDRAP News.

The Hawaii Department of Health announced that a H3N2 variant was confirmed in a resident from the Maui area who had been exposed to pigs.

"HDOA veterinarians will be taking samples to investigate the status of swine herds potentially associated with this case," State Veterinarian Dr. James Foppoli said, CIDRAP News reports.

State public health officials in Ohio said that preliminary test results showed that 10 people who had swine contact at the Butler County fair have possibly contracted an H3N2 variant. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have yet to confirm the cases.

"No one was hospitalized. Most of them recovered on their own; a couple of them needed antivirals. We're not seeing anything more severe than with cases of seasonal flu," Tessie Pollock, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Health, said, according to CIDRAP News.

In Indiana, where four cases of an H3N2 variant were discovered last week, a wave of illness in pigs at a barn at the Monroe County Fair sparked a need to test both the animals and people who had come into contact with them.

As of last week, there have been 17 confirmed cases of H3N2 variants in people in the United States so far this year.