Iowa reports hybrid A/H3N2 flu strain

Health officials in Iowa have discovered a new strain of influenza in the state, called A/H3N2, that is a hybrid strain of human, avian, H1N1 and swine flu.
Three children, all from Hamilton and Weber counties, have been diagnosed with the strain. Other states are also seeing the novel variant. Health officials say that the current flu shot will offer some protection against this flu virus, Journal Express reports.
“It appears the seasonal influenza vaccine currently available may offer some protection against this novel strain,” Patricia Quinlisk, the medical director for the Iowa Department of Public Health, said, according to Journal Express. “However, we continue to stress the importance of personal protective actions. Remember the three Cs: clean your hands frequently; cover your coughs and sneezes; and contain germs by staying home when ill.”
With the exception of the presence of the new strain, flu activity in the state of Iowa is still sporadic, which is commonplace at this time of year and does not indicate a major outbreak.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the throat, nose and lungs. Influenza can cause mild to severe illness. Symptoms can include fever, cough, sore throat, muscle or body aches, runny or stuffy nose, headaches and fatigue.