Number of H3N2v cases in U.S. rising

The number of cases of swine-origin variant H3N2 influenza cases in the U.S. recently reached 152.

Illinois recently reported its first case of H3N2v and Indiana announced a string of infections. Scientists believe the novel virus can be linked to pigs being raised by children to show at argricultural exhibitions, according to CIDRAP News.

At a media briefing to address the climbing number of cases, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said part of the reason behind the rise has to do with a change in reporting requirements. State labs that confirm H3N2v can now report test results without having to wait for CDC confirmation.

Dr. Joseph Bresee, a CDC medical epidemiologist with the influenza division, said that the quickly rising number of cases is real. He said that the streamlining of state reporting requirements should give a better picture of how the situation is evolving, CIDRAP News reports.

Bresee said that investigations in several states are linking the disease to agricultural fairs and pig exhibitions, which are popular at this time of year.

Indiana reported an additional seven cases of H3N2v to the 145 Bresee noted, bringing the total to 152. The Indiana State Department of Health said it confirmed two cases in Tippecanoe County, brining the total number of counties affected to 19.