By Ken Buben, President, FancyScrubs.com
The CDC has reported on June 2, 2011 providing new details about swine-origin novel H3N2 infections, including probable human-to-human transmission between a Minnesota man and his child who were sick in November.
This would be the first human to human case the CDC has found. Human infections with the swine-origin flu viruses are rare, which makes a report of human-to-human transmission even more unusual. The patient from Minnesota was tested along with other members of the family and his daughter also had the virus and had no contact with any animals.
The CDC’s report contained new details about the swine-origin H3N2 case from Minnesota first recorded in CDC’s surveillance report for the week ending Dec 11. It said the man was exposed to pigs 6 days before he got sick and that a respiratory sample yielded a novel H3N2 strain. Serologic tests on his daughter, conducted 6 weeks later, showed she had been sick with the same virus, though she had no direct exposure to swine. The CDC said she probably contracted the virus from close contact with her father.
So far 105 pediatric flu deaths have been reported for the 2010-11 season, which is vastly lower than last year’s pandemic season but somewhat higher than the two nonpandemic flu seasons before that. Overall deaths from pneumonia and flu peaked the week ending March 12.
What does this hold for next season’s flu activity? Could there be more human to human spread of this virus?
According to by Mike Noryt in Health News on Jun 01, 2011: “US scientists concluded that it would just take a small change in DNA to create a mutation of the 2009 outbreak virus, the H1N1 virus more commonly known as the swine flu, which has the ability to spread more easily. The scientists also presented that their method could be used to monitor the evolution of H1N1, especially the part of its DNA that determines how well the virus binds to the respiratory tract and potentially result in a more widespread pandemic with more deaths.”
Hopefully scientists can stay ahead of the new strains before they hit and cause more flu deaths. Remember, always wash your hands, disinfect all surfaces and if you are sick stay home . If you are a healthcare worker wear protective medical uniforms to avoid spreading the virus from patient to patient and even to your home.