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New Swine Flu -- 2012

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There is a new strain of swine flu circulating as of August 3, 2012. So far the CDC seems to think that the people who have come down with it contracted the strain from pigs at agricultural fairs in the midwest. It's a definite jumper -- can go from swine to human without a problem. Be on alert if you're around livestock.





Health officials have seen an uptick in cases of a new strain of swine flu in humans.

According to the latest flu report published Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 people have been infected with a new strain of an influenza A (H3N2) swine flu virus in just the past three weeks. Twelve of them were infected in the last full week of July.

Among those 12 newest cases, the CDC says 10 people were infected in Ohio; Indiana and Hawaii have reported one case each as well. According to the CDC, so far a total of 29 people have been infected with this new H3N2 strain: 12 in 2011, one earlier in 2012 and 16 in the past three weeks.

Nobody was hospitalized this year, and only three of the 12 cases last year required hospitalization. Nobody has died from this new flu.

Everyone diagnosed with the new flu strain this year reported having contact with pigs. Most of the cases from last also reported contact with pigs -- often at county or state fairs.


CDC: New strain of swine flu


"There are a few cases where no pig exposure could be found, so we think those are are human-to-human transmissions," said Dr. Joseph Bresee, an epidemiologist in the CDC's Influenza Division. "We're not saying don't go to fairs," Bresee said, but because this is the time of year when many fairs are going on, people ought to take special precautions:


-- Wash your hands with soap and water before and after touching pigs.


-- Don't drink or eat near pigs, and don't take food into animal areas.


-- Avoiding contact with animals such as pigs may be the best protection if you are among those likely to suffer severe symptoms if you get the flu -- people with lung disease or diabetes, for instance.


H3N2 flu viruses are common among pigs. H3N2 viruses are a subgroup of influenza A viruses and they are known to adapt in humans, Bresee said. What makes this new version of the H3N2 flu virus different is that it has picked up a gene from the novel H1N1 flu virus that became a pandemic three years ago. This can happen when a person or an animal is exposed to two different viruses at the same time.

Global H1N1 death toll may be 15 times higher than previously reported

Somewhere along the line, H3N2 and H1N1 viruses were present in a mammal at the same time and the "matrix-gene" (or m-gene) from the H1N1 pandemic virus was picked up by the H3N2 swine flu, thus creating a new or variant version of H3N2. It is this m-gene that has experts on the lookout, because the presence of the m-gene can make it more easily transmissible to humans.

The majority of the children and adults who got the new strain were attending country or agricultural fairs, which is where they came in contact with pigs (the other pig-to-human transmissions occurred in farmers or veterinarians). Health officials point out this flu is not a foodborne illness. Instead, it spreads like any other flu -- someone sneezes or coughs, spreading the virus to other mammals (humans included) and onto surfaces. Dr. Lisa Ferguson, a veterinarian for the National Animal Health Policy Programs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said this variant of swine flu was first detected in 2010. Bresee said the first human cases were reported in July 2011.

Most of the people infected have been children; among the 16 cases this year, only three were adults, which is also consistent with what was seen last year, Bresee said. New research raises hopes in quest to find universal flu vaccine

CDC researchers said that while the genetic makeup of the flu strains found in all three states is similar, they do not believe the cases in Hawaii, Indiana and Ohio are related. Even though the regular seasonal flu vaccine contains a strain of the A-flu virus group, it will not prevent you from getting sick if you come in contact with the new flu strain. So Bresee said preliminary steps have been taken to develop an H3N2 vaccine -- part of the overall pandemic preparedness planning of the CDC and other health agencies.

When a new flu virus pops up, "we immediately begin to think about the process of making a vaccine," Bresee said. The incremental process involves finding a good vaccine candidate, reassessing and testing the virus, developing seed vaccines and ensuring their safety. The goal is to have a vaccine quickly available in case a pandemic occurs, as with H1N1 in 2009. Bresee said he is not equating this new H3N2 flu with the 2009 flu, but a new H3N2 vaccine is in the early stages of development and clinical trials are expected later this year.

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Great. I feel like we have just been lucky so far. Another reason I'm kicking up the canning, freezing, dehydrating etc. now so if need be, I can stay out of crowds this winter.


In an unrelated issue, we had our first case of West Nile Virus confirmed in my county this week.

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There is also a type of swine flu now being found in seals in the Pacific ... seals are similar to pigs and humans enough that it can transfer.

thanks for the heads up. I have really cut down on contact with locals here. Maybe I can avoid it if it spreads here.

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DD1 [from Hawaii] had a persistent flu while she was here. Then I got it. We're pretty sure my dad had it too. But...what are the symptoms that would categorize this as a Swine Flu?


Our symptoms were:


-No head congestion but sometimes a bad headache.

-No nausea. Stomach fine; problem further down the system.

-Definite digestive distress; trips to bathroom.

-And an overwhelming SLEEPINESS! Weak and tired too but I mean you cannot stay awake. :mornincoffee: I couldn't believe how out-of-it DD1 was....until I experienced that symptom myself. Yikes!

-Persistence...you feel better, then it comes back! :0327:


{By the way, the homeopathic flu remedy (Oscillococcinum...available at Walmart) really helped to shorten the digestive part but not the sleepy thing. I'M SAYING THIS FOR MY FLU.....not necessarily for this Swine Flu. }



And DH saw patients at his office with same symptoms during the final days of July too.



Anywhere else having our version? Didn't seem particularly serious...but it sure was unpleasant for someone who'd traveled thousands of miles for a family vacation. :(

Poor DD1.


MtRider [.....I rarely catch things like this but....LIFE has been a BIT draining these past 3 months. :o ]

Edited by Mt_Rider
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Oh yeah....we did have fever/chills. DD1 even bought a nice fuzzy blankie at Cosco when the took me for a look-see at the store. She was miserable and we finally got her back to bed. Also had bad muscle aches during the fever time period.


But no respiratory so mebbe it wasn't a flu then. But it could not have been food poisioning in all 3 of us over a period of 2 weeks.




The flu has a variety of symptoms that can occur from one to seven days after exposure to an influenza virus. The U.S. National Library of Medicine reports that one of the main symptoms of the flu is a sudden fever of over 102 degrees F that lasts from one to five days. A person may also suffer from nausea or vomiting, chills, fatigue or headache. Two to four days after getting infected, the flu symptoms may zero in on the respiratory system and result in coughing, sneezing, sore throat or runny nose.


---------------------------------influenza [ˌɪnflʊˈɛnzə]


(Medicine / Pathology) a highly contagious and often epidemic viral disease characterized by fever, prostration, muscular aches and pains, and inflammation of the respiratory passages Also called grippe Informal name flu




MtRider [forgot that part....]

Edited by Mt_Rider
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I'm not trying to be contradictory -- :) But sometimes influenza does present with some GI symptoms. It's not the norm, but it can happen. H1N1 had GI symptoms...mainly nausea and diarrhea, but sometimes vomiting, although those GI symptoms were mainly in pediatric patients. My kids and I all got H1N1 -- I had no GI symptoms; DS had lower GI symptoms; DD had nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. DD was youngest. Avian flu can also present with GI disturbances, but obviously, whatever you had, it wasn't avian! :)


It also depends on the type of influenza as to how severe its accompanying respiratory symptoms are. Most will generate some pretty significant respiratory involvement; a few seem to have minimal respiratory symptoms.


Here's a little clip from the CDC website regarding the H3N2v (new swine) flu:

"•Flu symptoms usually include fever and respiratory symptoms, such as cough and runny nose, and possibly other symptoms, such as body aches, nausea, or vomiting or diarrhea."

And another regarding "variant" influenza viruses, such as H3N2v:

"People who have been infected with variant viruses have had symptoms similar to the symptoms of regular human seasonal influenza. These include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite and coughing. Some people also have reported runny nose, sore throat, eye irritation, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea."


Again, I'm not trying to be contradictory or rude....just want people to know that influenza symptoms can be surprising, sometimes, involving symptoms that we might not automatically associate with influenza. The more we know about how the virus affects us, the more aware we can be when we fall ill, and the sooner we can understand and know if we need to pursue medical treatment -- especially if you're part of an "at risk" population (under 5, over 65, pregnant, immunocompromised, etc.).


Either way, and whatever you and your DD had, I'm so sorry you were ill during her visit, Mt. Rider. I'm especially sorry that she was so sick while traveling and visiting with you! That's certainly not how you want to spend a vacation, right? I hope you feel better now, and that nobody else catches the bug.

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