New Strain Of Swine Flu Infects Riley County Child

By: 13 News
By: 13 News

Topeka (WIBW) - Amid H1N1 concern, the Kansas Department of Health and Envirnoment Thursday reported a Riley County child contracted a different strain of swine flu.

It's H3N2 and they say it's typically seen in North American pigs, but not humans.

Health officials believe the child was exposed at the Riley County Fair, where the child was in close contact with pigs. The child developed mild flu symptoms and has fully recovered. No other families members became ill.

“It is critical for people to understand that this H3N2 virus is not related to the pandemic H1N1 virus,” said Jason Eberhart-Phillips, Kansas State Health Officer and Director of Health at KDHE. “This is not a mutation or a recombination of the pandemic strain, and it does not appear at this time to be a threat to human health.”

State health officials don't believe H3N2 is a threat to humans. KDHE is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Riley County Health Department and the Kansas Animal Health Department to investigate this case.

KDHE and the local health department also are working to determine if the Riley County Fair swine exhibitors, or their pigs, have been ill.

Health officials say the CDC has received reports of approximately one human infection with a swine influenza virus each year. This year, 14 cases of human infection are reported, not including H1N1. Officials say the increased numbers are due to the increased testing for the H1N1increased pandemic.

“Most instances of human infection with animal influenza viruses, like the swine H3N2 virus, do not result in human-to-human transmission,” Dr. Eberhart-Phillips said. “However, each case needs to be fully investigated to be sure that the viruses are not spreading among humans.”


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