New Swine Flu Strain – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are on high alert for a new strain of swine flu that may be spread person-to-person, as opposed to known cases where patients had recently come in contact with pigs.
The new variant is thought to be a combination of the familiar H1N1 virus from the 2009 outbreak and H3N2, a rare influenza found in North American pigs.
Of the other seven cases of the new swine flu, three occurred in Pennsylvania, two in Maine and two in Indiana, the CDC reported in a Wednesday dispatch inÂ its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
In all of those cases, either the patients or close contactsÂ had beenÂ recentlyÂ exposed to pigs. The lack of pig exposure in the three newest cases suggested that the new virus may involve limited person-to-person contact. As part of routine preparedness to counter pandemic threats from new flu viruses, CDC said it had developed a “candidate vaccine virus” that could be used to make a human vaccine against S-OtrH3N2 viruses and has sent it to vaccine manufacturers.
CDC scientists said they expected this years’ seasonal flu vaccine to provide adults with limited protection from the new flu virus, but that it wouldn’t help children.
They recommended that doctors who suspect swine flu infections in their patientsÂ treat them with Tamiflu where appropriate, obtain nose and throat specimens and send them to a state public health labs, which should report them to CDC.