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Published On: Mon, Jul 8th, 2013

CDC issues H3N2 health alert as first cases reported in Indiana

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an updated Health Alert Network Health Advisory Friday after the first cases of 2013 were reported from Indiana. The alert supersedes the previous alert issued Aug 2012.

The cases reported from Indiana were associated with exposure to swine at an agricultural fair prior to illness onset.

Photo/Agricultural Research Service

Photo/Agricultural Research Service

H3N2v viruses with the matrix (M) gene from the 2009 H1N1 pandemic virus were first detected in people in 2011 and were responsible for a multi-state outbreak in the summer of 2012 that resulted in 306 cases, including 16 hospitalizations and 1 fatality, the federal health agency reports.

Genetic sequencing by CDC has confirmed that H3N2v viruses isolated in June 2013 are nearly identical to those detected during summer 2012. Most cases of H3N2v identified during 2012 were associated with exposure to pigs at agricultural fairs.

Clinical characteristics of the 2012 and 2013 H3N2v cases have been generally consistent with those of seasonal influenza, and have included fever, cough, pharyngitis, myalgia, and headache. Of the 16 H3N2v hospitalized patients, most were at increased risk for complications of influenza because of age or the presence of an underlying medical condition. None of the persons ill with 2013 H3N2v infection have been hospitalized, and no deaths have occurred among them.

CDC anticipates that state health departments will identify more H3N2v cases in 2013 as agricultural fair season continues. The number of cases may exceed those identified last year, and CDC recommends a surveillance strategy for 2013 designed primarily to identify increases in person-to-person transmission or clinical severity.

Testing for H3N2v should focus primarily on persons with exposures known to be associated with H3N2v virus infection (e.g., fair attendance) and in settings where person-to-person transmission has been identified previously (e.g., influenza-like illness outbreaks in child-care centers).

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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