MONDAY, JUNE 18, 2018

Two more novel flu virus infections reported in the U.S.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed two more infections with novel flu viruses on Friday in children in West Virginia and Minnesota.
One of the two infections involves the novel H3N2 strain found this year in four other states. Though both of the viruses have been detected in U.S. pig populations, investigations have yet to reveal any connection between the two children or their close contact to pigs. This could signal that the virus is capable of only limited human-to-human transmission, CIDRAP News reports.
Both of the children have since recovered from the virus.
The infection in the West Virginia child involved a swine-origin H3N2 reassortant strain including the M gene from the 2009 H1N1 pandemic virus. This raises the number of such cases detected in the United States to 11. The virus has distant relation to human H3N2 viruses that circulated in the 1990s, suggesting that adults may have some protection against it.
Minnesota's novel flu case involves an H1N2 virus that circulates in swine but typically doesn't infect humans, CIDRAP News reports. It is only the second novel H1N2 case reported since 2007.
Since 2005, there have been 33 human infections with swine-origin flu viruses reported in the United States. All of the patients, including 25 children, recovered from their illnesses. The CDC continues to recommend the flu vaccine to prevent seasonal flu, but said that the vaccine is unlikely to protect against viruses that circulate in pigs. It advised those who seek medical attention for flu symptoms after direct or close contact with pigs to mention the exposure to their healthcare providers.