An H1N2 virus has sprung up in Minnesota and is common in pigs in the Upper Midwest, CBS local affiliate WCCO reported. The infant boy is only the second human ever to contact this rare strain of swine flu.
This rare flu case is an unusual mutation of the flu virus. The flu is a contagious respiratory illness that can cause mild to severe illness and can lead to death. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with low immune systems are at higher risk for serious flu complications.
The infant boy in Minnesota has since recovered from the virus, which was diagnosed this past October. H1N2 is not protected against by the flu shot, which does cover the H1N1 virus. Swine influenza was first known to be a disease related to human flu during the 1918 flu pandemic, when pigs became sick at the same time as humans became ill with the flu. It has been estimated that anywhere from 50 to 100 million people were killed worldwide during the 1918 flu pandemic.
A new flu virus also showed up in Iowa recently too. The new flu strain combines a rare influenza virus (H3N2) circulating in North American pigs and the H1N1 virus from the 2009 outbreak. After a lengthy investigation, Iowa epidemiologists found that the gathering was the only common link among the three children’s illnesses. None of their families had recently traveled or attended community type events, and none of the three or their families had been exposed to pigs, according to the CDC.
Remember to get yourself and your family vaccinated, wash your hands thoroughly with soap, water and friction by singing Happy Birthday twice, and if you are a healthcare worker purchase fluid repelling medical scrubs to protect yourself and your patients.