New strain of swine flu detected. Via Google Images
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported on Friday that two cases of a new strain of swine-flu related infection have been found in young children in late August.
The infected children were a boy from Indiana and a girl from Pennsylvania, both under age 5. Tom Skinner, CDC spokesman, said the strain the children had hasn’t been seen before.
The CDC usually sees a few cases a year of the influenza virus H3N2, usually as result of contact with swine. Skinner said ”what’s new is that it has picked up a gene from the H1N1 pandemic strain.” The flu vaccines the children received in 2010 (which protected against H1N1) did not protect them against the new strain.
The boy was taken to a hospital emergency department in July with flulike symptoms including fever, cough and diarrhea. A test confirmed influenza A (H3). The boy had not been directly exposed to swine but a caretaker had been in direct contact with swine in the weeks before the boy became ill.
The girl was also taken to a hospital emergency department in August with similar symptoms, but she was discharged. She had reportedly visited an agricultural fair where she was exposed to swine few days before she became sick. Her sickness included fever, cough and lethargy. The girl and boy both recovered.
Scientists found no specific link between the two cases and the CDC reports that no additional human cases have been found. Skinner further said “There’s no evidence of sustained transmission from human to human…Investigations are ongoing to better understand the extent of the impact of these two cases on the public health.”
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