Tag Archives: H3N2 Swine Flu Virus

4 HOOSIERS contract SWINE FLU ~ NEBRASKA reports 6 cases of TULAREMIA this year ~ SASKATCHEWAN man dies of HANTAVIRUS ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from CAx2, ID, IL, & MS ~ RABIES reports from MD, NC, SC, & VT.

Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Indiana 06/26/13 hoosieragtoday.com: by Gary Truitt – The Indiana State Department of Health is urging residents to take precautions when they visit county and 4-H fairs after four people contracted the H3N2 virus or swine flu, possibly after visiting the Grant County Agricultural Fair which ran from June 16 to 22.  A Grant County Health Department official told NewsChannel 15 that at least one of the four was an animal handler. The Indiana State Department of Health and the Grant County Health Department continue to investigate these cases. Human infections with H3N2 have most commonly occurred after close proximity to live infected pigs, such as working with them in barns and livestock exhibits at fairs. Influenza viruses are not transmitted by eating pork and pork products. According to the State Board of Animal Health, thirteen pigs at the fair tested positive for H3N2.  – For complete article see http://www.hoosieragtoday.com/index.php/2013/06/26/virus-hit-swine-at-grant-county-fair/


Nebraska 06/26/13 nebraskaradionetwork.com: by Karla James – Bacteria spread by tick and deer fly bites as well as through contact with rodents, dead Media.aspxor alive, is causing concern. Nebraska State Epidemiologist Dr. Tom Sefranek says there have been six cases of tularemia in the state so far this year. Dr. Sefranek says they carry a bacteria that gets into ones system and can cause a skin ulcer, spread through the body and infect the lymph nodes and other internal organs. He says tularemia can make a person quite ill and in some cases is deadly. – For complete article including prevention measures see http://nebraskaradionetwork.com/2013/06/26/six-confirmed-cases-of-tularemia-in-nebraska/



Deer mouse. CDC.

Deer mouse. CDC.

Saskatchewan 06/26/13 leaderpost.com: Health officials have confirmed that a man from the Heartland Health Region in the western section of the province has died from hantavirus. A second death in the same region is under investigation as possibly hantavirus-related, but it is not believed the two cases are connected. “Hantavirus is a rare but potentially fatal illness, usually contracted by exposure to infected rodents like deer mice. According to Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab, the man’s death is the 24th hantavirus case in Saskatchewan since 1994. One third of hantavirus cases are fatal, with the majority of cases occurring in otherwise healthy adults.” – For complete article see http://www.leaderpost.com/technology/Saskatchewan+dies+from+hantavirus/8581490/story.html

West Nile Virus (WNV):

Butte Cty CACalifornia 06/27/13 Butte County: A squirrel found in Chico has tested positive for WNV. The virus has reached 19 other counties in the state this year and one human case has been confirmed. – See http://www.chicoer.com/news/ci_23549913/west-nile-virus-back-butte-county

San_Mateo_County_CACalifornia 06/25/13 San Mateo County: Two dead birds collected from the City of San Mateo on May 30 and June 2 have tested positive for WNV. – See http://www.mercurynews.com/my-town/ci_23538463/first-two-dead-birds-test-positive-west-nile

Payette-County_IDIdaho 06/26/13 Payette County: Mosquitoes collected in the county have been confirmed to be carrying WNV. Officials said the mosquitoes were trapped southwest of downtown Fruitland. – See http://www.argusobserver.com/independent/news/west-nile-virus-found-in-payette-county/article_817bed12-de9f-11e2-ab22-001a4bcf887a.html

madisoncounty_ILIllinois 06/27/13 Madison County: A batch of mosquitoes collected Tuesday in Mitchell, just outside of Granite City, has tested positive for WNV. Mosquitoes testing positive for the virus have also been found in Cook, DuPage, McHenry, Perry, and St. Clair counties.  – See http://www.ksdk.com/news/article/386066/3/Mosquitoes-test-positive-for-West-Nile-virus-in-Madison-County

LowndesCounty-MSMississippi 06/27/13 Lowndes County: Health officials have confirmed that a third human case of WNV has been reported in the state this year. – See http://www.whlt.com/story/22704928/thid-west-nile-virus-case-reported-in-mississippi


help1Maryland 06/26/13 Frederick County: A bite at a park (in the City of Frederick) from a dog resembling a Jack Russell was enough Tuesday to prompt the Frederick County Health Department (FCHD) to spread the word about rabies. In a release issued Wednesday, the FCHD shared the owner of the dog is sought. Officials are attempting to avoid treating the woman bitten by the dog from receiving unnecessary post-exposure rabies vaccinations. The unattended dog bit the woman at Rivercrest Park (near Delaware Road) at about 9 a.m. Tuesday. The Jack Russell-type dog is brown and white and had a collar with tags.  Anyone within the area who has information about the owner’s identity is asked to contact the FCHD at 301-600-1717 or FCAC at 301-600-1544. – See http://www.abc2news.com/dpp/news/state/fchd-searching-for-owner-of-dog-that-bit-woman-at-park

MissouriDeptConservationNorth Carolina 06/26/13 Vance County: A raccoon that was attacked by two unvaccinated dogs Sunday at 1262 Stuart Farm Road has tested positive for rabies. Two family members have sought medical advice after being potentially exposed to the virus because they handled one of the dogs. Both dogs are to be euthanized. – See http://www.hendersondispatch.com/news/x1065838901/County-has-third-rabies-case-of-year

article-1277106566013-09EE76B9000005DC-717773_223x335South Carolina 06/26/13 Union County: A fox that bit a man in the Jonesville area has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.goupstate.com/article/20130626/ARTICLES/306261019/1001/sports02?Title=Union-man-bitten-by-rabid-fox

111009110345_Raccoon3 - CopyVermont 06/27/13 Caledonia County: A hissing raccoon that bit an 11-year-old girl six times outside her friend’s home in Kirby on Sunday is being treated for potential exposure to rabies though the animal ran off and was never captured. – See http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/d2e5a825f22e473aa925d995d3648dcf/VT–Raccoon-Attack

OHIO reports first known H3N2v SWINE FLU related DEATH ~ CALIFORNIA reports MOUNTAIN LION sighting ~ WEST NILE VIRUS report from MASSACHUSETTS ~ RABIES reports from FL, GA, MA, NJ, RI, & WI ~ CDC REPORTS: ZOONOTIC DISEASE summary for week ending August 25, 2012.

Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Ohio 09/01/12 newsnet5.com: by Cassandra Nist – The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has reported Ohio’s first known H3N2v– associated death Friday. The individual had direct contact with swine at the Ross County Fair before coming ill. Click here for a complete list of Ohio’s county fairs. The 61-year-old female Madison County resident passed away earlier this week. Testing at the Ohio Department of Health Laboratory confirmed that the individual had been infected with the H3N2v influenza virus. The patient had multiple other underlying medical conditions, but the influenza virus may have contributed to the death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the main risk factor for infection is direct exposure to swine. CDC points out that the virus does not spread easily from person-to-person, but limited human-to-human infection has occurred. “H3N2v, like many other viruses, has the greatest potential to impact those with weakened immune systems,” said Dr. Ted Wymyslo, Director of ODH. “We have been seeing a mild illness in most individuals infected with the H3N2v virus, so there’s no need for alarm. However, it is important for those at-risk individuals to take extra precautions like avoiding swine exhibits to protect themselves.” Ohio is currently reporting 102 cases of H3N2v statewide. Those with confirmed cases of H3N2v are between the ages of 6 months and 61 years old. Most ill individuals have recovered on their own or were treated and released after a short stay in the hospital. – For complete article see http://www.newsnet5.com/dpp/news/local_news/oh_cuyahoga/one-person-has-died-from-h3n2v-after-attending-ross-county-fair

Author’s Note: According to The New York Times, “Most cases have been in Ohio and Indiana,” but other cases have been confirmed as far away as Maine and Hawaii.  For a state-by-state breakdown of the 301 cases reported since August 2011 see http://www.cdc.gov/flu/swineflu/h3n2v-case-count.htm

Mountain Lion Sightings:

California 08/31/12 Sebastopol, Sonoma County: A mountain lion sighting south of town on Friday follows at least two possible sightings reported earlier in the spring near the downtown area. The most recent report involves a woman who said she saw what appeared to be a lion in an open field near Elphick and Bollinger avenues. – See http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20120831/ARTICLES/120839883

West Nile Virus (WNV):

Massachusetts 09/01/12 Middlesex and Hampden counties: Four more human cases of the WNV have been confirmed, bringing the total to eight in the state this season, health officials said Friday night. Three residents in Middlesex County and one in Hampden County, who were listed as probable cases earlier, were confirmed with the illness and all patients were recovering, officials said. – See http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2012/09/01/four_more_west_nile_virus_cases_confirmed_in_state/


Florida 08/31/12 Auburndale, Polk County: A bat found in Tenoroc High has tested positive for rabies, officials said. This is the seventh confirmed case of rabies this year in the county. See http://www.baynews9.com/content/news/baynews9/news/article.html/content/news/articles/bn9/2012/8/31/bat_found_in_tenoroc.html

Georgia 08/31/12 Madison County: Three rabies cases have been confirmed in the county within the past week, county leaders said Friday. Two of the cases involved skunks at locations on Applebaum Way and Charles Hart Road in the Colbert area. In both cases, the skunks had been killed by local residents and turned over to animal control. The third case involved a deceased horse in the area of Friendship Church Road and Chandler Road. – See http://www.madisonjournaltoday.com/archives/5464-Three-rabies-cases-confirmed-in-Madison-County.html

Massachusetts 08/31/12 Hingham, Plymouth County: An 11-year-old Hingham boy, who lives on the 100 block of lower Main Street, was bitten in his yard late afternoon on Monday, Aug. 27, by a cat.  The cat’s teeth punctured his skin, which requires determining the cat’s rabies vaccination status. No one is looking to punish the cat or its owners, but rather to find out its rabies status to determine whether they boy will need a series of rabies treatments.  The cat is not a complete stranger as he visits the boy’s yard from time to time, but not frequently. The cat appears to be well fed and cared for, but does not wear a collar.  He is mostly orange with some white stripes on his body, on his tail, and white on his paws.  The cat does not belong to any of the boy’s immediate neighbors. It is imperative to find out who owns the cat and its vaccination status.  Per the State Board of Health, there is a 10-day window of opportunity from this past Monday to find the cat before the boy must begin the rabies series. Anyone who owns this cat or knows of someone that owns this cat can contact Leslie Badger, Hingham Animal Control Officer, at 781-741-1490, or Marisa Ronan at 781-749-1862.

New Jersey 08/31/12 Hillsborough, Somerset County:  Health officials say there have been an unusual number of animals that have tested positive for rabies between Aug. 15 and 20.  A rabid skunk was found on Brook Drive on Aug. 15. Another rabid skunk was found at the Royce Brook Golf Course on Aug. 20. There was also a rabid cat behind the Goodyear on Route 206 on Aug. 20 (this was a young cat which was white with patches of tiger markings, with short hair.) – See http://www.centraljersey.com/articles/2012/08/31/hillsborough_beacon/news/doc50411ffa53a6a408491769.txt

Rhode Island 08/31/12 Barrington, Bristol County: A raccoon that bit the finger of a 4-year-old girl in her family’s garage has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.eastbayri.com/news/2012/aug/31/rabid-raccoon-bites-young-barrington-girl/

Wisconsin 08/31/12: The Eau Claire City-County Health Department is looking for two dogs involved with different biting events. The department is looking for a dog that bit a woman at the corner of Washington Street and State Street Thursday at about 5 p.m. The dog is described as a large sized Husky type dog, black and white in color. The woman walking with the dog was dressed in green shorts and a purple tee-shirt. The Health Department is urgently requesting health and rabies status of this dog.

The department is also looking for a dog that bit a child near the beach access to Elk Creek on Friday, Aug. 24. The dog is described as a large bulldog-type snub-nosed breed dog. The dog was with a younger couple with three other dogs. All had collars and tags. The dogs were called Jasper, Jackie, Melon and Sophie. The health and rabies status of the dog needs to be determined. If anyone has information about these two dogs, they should contact the Eau Claire Communications Center at 715-839-4972.

CDC Reports:

CDC MMWR Summary for Week ending August 25, 2012:

Published August 31, 2012/ 61(34); ND-466-ND-479

Anaplasmosis . . . 23 . . . Arkansas, New Hampshire, New York (13), North Carolina, Rhode Island (6), Virginia,

Babesiosis . . . 3 . . . New York (3),

Brucellosis . . . 1 . . . Maryland,     

Ehrlichiosis . . . 13 . . . Arkansas, Delaware, North Carolina (8), Tennessee (2), Virginia,

Giardiasis . . . 183 . . . Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas (6), California (22), Florida (26), Hawaii, Idaho (3), Iowa (6), Maine, Maryland (2), Massachusetts (9), Michigan (7), Missouri (5), Montana, Nebraska (9), Nevada (2), New York (31), Ohio (19), Oregon (4), Pennsylvania (9), South Carolina (3), Vermont (3), Virginia (4), Washington (7), Wisconsin,

HME/HGE Undetermined . . . 1 . . . Indiana,

Lyme Disease . . .  163. . .  California, Connecticut, Delaware (5), Florida, Idaho, Maryland (9), Michigan (2), New York (74), North Carolina (9), Ohio, Pennsylvania (44), Vermont (2), Virginia (13),

Q Fever (Chronic) . . . 1 . . . Maryland, 

Rabies (Animal) . . . 47. . . Illinois (4), Kansas (2), Kentucky, Maine (3), Nevada, New Hampshire, New York (10), Ohio (2), Texas (3), Vermont (3), Virginia (17),

Spotted Fever including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (Probable) . . . 34 . . . Arkansas (14), Florida (2), Maryland, Nebraska, South Carolina (2), Tennessee (11), Virginia (3),

Tularemia . . . 1 . . . Washington.

MEXICAN GRAY WOLF killing LIVESTOCK in NEW MEXICO will be shot ~ Lone WOLF known as OR-7 prompts CALIFORNIA wildlife officials to consider protection ~ CDC confirms 145 new cases of SWINE FLU in July & August 2012 ~ Second RABBIT with TULAREMIA found in COLORADO ~ MOUNTAIN LION sighting reported in ILLINOIS ~ EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS reports from MAx2 ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from IN, MD, NE, SD, & TXx3 ~ RABIES reports from CA, CO, GA, MAx2, NH, NY, NC, & OH.

Mexican gray wold. Photo by C. Morrison. Wikimedia Commons.

New Mexico 08/10/12 krqe.com: by Susan Montoya Bryan – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service signed an order Thursday calling for the shooting of a female Mexican gray wolf that was accused of killing too many cows in southwestern New Mexico. This marks the first time since 2007 that the agency was taking the step to kill an endangered wolf due to livestock problems. The order calls for shooting the Fox Mountain Pack’s alpha female. Wolf Recovery Coordinator Sherry Barrett said it was a difficult decision given that the population of endangered wolves in New Mexico and Arizona has been struggling since reintroduction began 14 years ago. “Our goal is to recover the population and to grow this particular population, but we also recognize the need to address these depredations so that we have a successful reintroduction program,” she said. The rancher who lost cattle to the Fox Mountain Pack was compensated for his losses, but Barrett did not know how much he was paid through the government’s reimbursement program. Barrett also declined to release the name of the rancher. . . .

. . . . .. .A subspecies of the gray wolf, the Mexican wolf once roamed parts of New Mexico, Arizona, Texas and Mexico. Hunting and government-sponsored extermination campaigns all but wiped out the predator. It was added to the federal endangered species list in 1976, and a captive-breeding program was started. The first batch of wolves was released in May 1998, and at least 58 wolves remain in the wild along the New Mexico-Arizona border. Biologists estimate there are 14 packs among the two states. – For complete article see http://www.krqe.com/dpp/news/central/feds-order-lethal-removal-of-wolf

California 08/09/12 oregonlive.com: State scientists say the lone wolf roaming far Northern California should be considered a candidate for listing under the state endangered species act. A report from the Department of Fish and Game called the presence of the gray wolf that crossed the border from Oregon last December an “historic and a scientific certainty.” The report says that other wolves could migrate to form breeding populations.  “Whether one is for or against listing wolves as threatened or endangered … one must acknowledge the fact that the arrival of wolf OR7 in our state was an historic event,” said Jordan Traverso, deputy director of communications for the department. The report was presented Wednesday to members of the California Fish and Game Commission, which will decide in October whether to accept the recommendation. – For complete article see http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2012/08/or-7_arrival_in_california_pro.html

National 08/09/12 cdc.gov: CDC Health Advisory – (Excerpt) “(T)here are 145 confirmed cases of influenza infection with H3N2v virus, since the current outbreaks began in July of this year.  This includes one case in Hawaii, one case in Illinois, 113 cases being reported from Indiana, and 30 cases being reported from Ohio.  This is clearly a significant increase since last week’s total, so we thought it would be good to try to put this into context.  Like we reported last week, confirmed cases have had exposure to swine, and most of these infections have occurred in people exhibiting swine, family members of exhibitors, people visiting swine barns at fairs, or people attending fairs where swine are present.  The severity of human illness associated with this virus continues to resemble that of seasonal flu.  Most cases are mild and self-limited and resolve on their own.  Most cases have occurred in children.  CDC has not received any report of deaths associated with H3N2v infection, and there have been two confirmed hospitalizations with H3N2v infection so far.  Both patients have recovered and have been discharged.” Joseph Bresee, M.D., Influenza Division, CDC – For complete transcript see http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2012/t0809_H3N2v.html

Colorado 08/09/12 koaa.com: Public health officials in Pueblo say a second rabbit tested positive for tularemia in Pueblo West. The rabbit was collected from Pueblo West, north of Highway 50 West, on the 400 Block of East Chadwick Drive. – For complete article and symptoms see http://www.koaa.com/news/second-rabbit-with-disease-found-in-pueblo-west/

Mountain Lion Sightings:

Illinois 08/10/12 chicagoist.com: by Chuck Sudo – Police in Glencoe have asked residents to be on alert for a cougar or cougars in the North Shore suburb after a July 26 sighting. It was the latest in a series of reported mountain lion sightings in the north suburbs in recent months. Although there hasn’t been any photographic evidence of the felines, Glencoe Public Safety Director Michael Volling is taking a “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” approach. The latest sighting occurred July 26 near the intersection of Dell Place and Lakeside Terrace. – See http://chicagoist.com/2012/08/10/north_shore_cougar_sighting_deemed.php

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE):

Massachusetts 08/08/12 Middlesex County: Public health officials have confirmed that a man in his 60s from the Metrowest region has been diagnosed with EEE. He became ill after returning from a trip to the Mid-Atlantic region. – See http://www.necn.com/08/08/12/Mass-man-diagnosed-with-Eastern-Equine-E/landing.html?blockID=753683&feedID=4753

Massachusetts 08/10/12 Reading, Middlesex County: Human-biting mosquitoes infected with EEE have been detected in Reading — the first time this season that EEE-carrying insects that can spread the often-fatal disease to people have been found outside of Cape Cod and Southeastern Massachusetts, which is traditionally a hotbed for the virus. – See http://www.boston.com/whitecoatnotes/2012/08/10/human-biting-eee-infected-mosquitoes-found-reading-are-first-outside-southeastern-mass-and-cape-cod/K4MbLVtfku0etu1bHQhtmK/story.html

West Nile Virus (WNV):

Indiana 08/10/12 wane.com: Health officials say four human cases of WNV have now been confirmed in Hamilton, Marion, and Jackson counties. – See http://www.wane.com/dpp/news/indiana/four-human-west-nile-cases-statewide

Maryland 08/10/12 dhmh.maryland.gov: News Release – Public health officials today announced that an adult in Central Maryland is the state’s first confirmed human case of symptomatic WNV infection in 2012. WNV was also detected in a pool of mosquitoes collected in Montgomery County by the U.S. Department of Defense. – See http://dhmh.maryland.gov/publicrelations/pr/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=275

Nebraska 08/08/12 dhhs.ne.gov: Health Alert – There are six (6) lab-confirmed human cases of WNV, one each in Boone, Butler, Hamilton and Madison counties and 2 in Scottsbluff County. Multiple counties show positive mosquito pools or infected birds (see maps, http://dhhs.ne.gov/publichealth/Pages/wnvData2012.aspx). –

See complete Health Alert at http://dhhs.ne.gov/publichealth/Documents/Update080812.pdf

South Dakota 08/10/12 doh.sd.gov: Update – WNV has been detected in 24 counties.  31 human cases of the disease reported. 16 WNV viremic blood donors. 2 WNV positive horses. – See https://mail.google.com/mail/?hl=en&shva=1#inbox/13912805e2c6514c

Texas 08/09/12 Dallas County: Public health officials have declared a public health emergency, saying the spread of the WNV has become epidemic . . . county health officials have reported 162 WNV human cases including nine deaths so far this year. – See http://www.sacbee.com/2012/08/09/4711989/west-nile-emergency-declared-in.html

Texas 08/09/12 Andrews, Andrews County: Health officials have confirmed the first human case of WNV in the Permian Basin. – See http://www.newswest9.com/story/19241793/first-case-of-west-nile-virus-pushes-officials-to-take-action

Texas 08/10/12 Denton, Denton County: Public health officials have confirmed that a 90-year-old resident with underlying health conditions is the county’s first death associated with WNV this year. There have been 66 total human cases of the virus, and 65 positive mosquito pools, in the county so far this year. – See http://www.scntx.com/articles/2012/08/10/lewisville_leader/news/9016.txt


California 08/10/12 Acton, Los Angeles County: Public health officials have confirmed that a bat that fell from a tree and bit a local resident on the shoulder a week ago has tested positive for rabies. Two other bats found last weekend between Stevenson Ranch and Acton also tested positive for the virus. Nine rabid bats have been found in the Santa Clarita Valley so far this year. – See http://hometownstation.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=30718:rabid-bats-acton-clarita-2012-08-10-16-29&catid=26:local-news&Itemid=97

Colorado 08/09/12 El Paso County: A dead bat found near the entrance of the Starsmore Discovery Center at 2120 S. Cheyenne Cañon Road has tested positive for rabies. Anyone who might have had contact with the bat should seek immediate medical advice. – See http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_21278126/rabies-confirmed-bat-found-el-paso-county

Georgia 08/09/12 Bryan County: A raccoon that came in contact with a local family dog has tested positive for rabies. The dog was not up-to-date on vaccinations and had to be euthanized. This is the third rabid raccoon found in the county this year. – See http://savannahnow.com/bryan-county-now/2012-08-09/third-rabid-raccoon-found-bryan-county#.UCXiDaMt7WB

Massachusetts 08/09/12 Dartmouth, Bristol County: A woodchuck (aka groundhog) that came in contact with a vaccinated dog and was later found on Hancock Street, west of Cross Road and south of Route 6, has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.boston.com/metrodesk/2012/08/09/rabid-woodchuck-attacks-dog-dartmouth/a6RJqICdynq5f2rob4RsMJ/story.html

Massachusetts 08/10/12 Bolton, Worcester County: A bat captured by an animal control officer inside a local home has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.wickedlocal.com/harvard/news/x1791379167/Rabid-bat-found-in-Bolton-no-cause-for-alarm#axzz23DNs6ict

New Hampshire 08/10/12 Freedom, Carroll County: Local police shot and killed a fox that attacked people walking their dog and then attacked the police. Officials are waiting for results of a rabies test, but less than two weeks ago another fox tested positive for the virus in the nearby town of Bartlett. – See http://www.conwaydailysun.com/index.php/newsx/local-news/91882-suspected-rabid-fox-attacks-police-in-freedom

New York 08/10/12 Middletown, Orange County: A rabies alert has been issued after a bat that was in contact with a vaccinated dog in the Lincroft section tested positive for the virus. This is the fifth case of rabies in the town this year. – See http://www.myfoxny.com/story/19246572/rabies-alert-issued-for-middletown

North Carolina 08/09/12 Cary, Wake & Chatham counties: A dead bat found inside a home in the 300 block of Tweed Circle on Tuesday has tested positive for rabies. The homeowner was potentially exposed to the virus. – See http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/08/09/2257613/man-exposed-to-rabid-bat-inside.html

Ohio 08/09/12 Danville, Knox County: A bat that came in contact with an unvaccinated dog has tested positive for rabies. The dog will be euthanized. – See http://www2.nbc4i.com/news/2012/aug/09/bat-tests-positive-rabies-knox-co-dog-be-euthanize-ar-1132088/

MASSACHUSETTS and VIRGINIA confirm FOX attacks ~ OHIO State Fair presenter sent home when HOGS test positive for SWINE FLU ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from AL, CT, FL, GA, NJ, NM, NY, ND, OH, PA, SD, & UT ~ RABIES reports from AL, NJ, NY, & SC ~ CDC REPORTS: ZOONOTIC DISEASE summary for week ending July 28, 2012.

Gray fox. Photo by Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

Massachusetts 08/07/12 southcoasttoday.com: by Ariel Wittenberg – A Birchfield Street resident was bitten by a fox while walking her dog this morning in what town officials are calling a “possible rabies event.” Fairhaven Health Agent Patricia Fowle said there is no direct evidence that the fox is rabid, but that the victim is being treated for rabies at a nearby hospital. “The lady was out walking the dog … and a fox appeared out of the woods at the east end of the street,” Fowle said. “It went after the woman and not the dog, which is cause for concern.” Fowle said she received a call shortly after 10 a.m. from Animal Control informing her of the incident. Animal Control went to the scene of the biting but could not find the fox. – For complete article see http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120807/NEWS/120809890/-1/NEWS10

Red fox. Courtesy National Park Service.

Virginia 08/07/12 wset.com: by David Tate – An aggressive fox that bit a Blacksburg woman has some neighbors very concerned. Police are keeping an eye out for the animal because it still hasn’t been captured or killed.  People in the area have definitely heard of the attack and are taking precautions for everything from their children to their pets. Until the fox that attacked a woman in a driveway is caught and tested for rabies, the Blacksburg neighborhood off Glade Road will be on edge. – For complete article and video see http://www.wset.com/story/19219301/rabid-fox-on-the-loose-in-blacksburg

H3N2 Infuenza Virus:

Ohio 08/06/12 springfieldnewsun.com: by Tiffany Y. Latta – An area resident who recently showed animals at the Ohio State Fair has tested positive for swine flu, becoming the first confirmed case of the H3N2 influenza virus in Clark County. The young girl, whose name and age were not released, was exposed to the virus after having direct contact with two hogs that were sent home from the fair in Columbus last week after tests revealed they had swine flu.. . . . Ohio currently has 15 confirmed cases, including 14 cases in Butler County that were associated with those who had direct contact with swine at their recent county fair. – For complete article see http://www.springfieldnewssun.com/news/news/local/clark-county-resident-tests-positive-for-new-swine/nQB9p/

West Nile Virus (WNV):

Alabama 08/06/12 Mobile County: Health officials say sentinel chickens in two locations have tested positive for WNV. The locations are in the 36613 ZIP Code area and the 36571 ZIP Code area. – See http://www2.wkrg.com/news/2012/aug/06/west-nile-virus-confirmed-two-mobile-county-zipcod-ar-4286804/

Connecticut 08/07/12 CT Department of Public Health: News Release – The State Mosquito Management Program today announced mosquitoes testing positive for WNV have been identified in 32 towns so far this season. The virus has been confirmed in mosquitoes trapped in a widening area of Fairfield, Hartford, New Haven, Middlesex and New London counties.

Florida 08/06/12 Jacksonville, Duval County: Four new cases of WNV bring this year’s total to five human cases of the mosquito-borne illness in Jacksonville. The Duval County Health Department says the most recent cases involve 35 and 52-year-old males and 41 and 54 year-old females. WOKV is told by the DCHD that three have been treated and released from the hospital.  The fourth is expected to be released today or tomorrow. – See http://www.wokv.com/news/news/local/four-new-cases-west-nile-virus-jacksonville/nQB33/

Georgia 08/07/12 Sandy Springs, Fulton County: Health officials confirm a mosquito sample found in Wills Park has tested positive for WNV. The Georgia Division of Public Health notified the department that mosquito samples in six Fulton County communities have tested positive for the West Nile Virus. – See http://sandysprings.patch.com/articles/mosquito-with-west-nile-virus-found-in-north-fulton-d61452ad

New Jersey 08/07/12 Morris County: A health official confirmed the county has discovered 35 pools of WNV infected mosquitoes, which is slightly more than in most previous years. – See http://www.nj.com/morris/index.ssf/2012/08/more_mosquitoes_testing_positi.html

New Mexico 08/07/12 Bernalillo County: The department of health confirms that a 63-year-old man has been diagnosed with WNV. He is hospitalized with the more severe clinical form of the virus with neurological symptoms including encephalitis. This is the first human case of WNV in the state this year. – See http://www.dchieftain.com/2012/08/07/health-department-confirms-first-human-west-nile-case-in-2012

New York 08/07/12 Babylon, Suffolk County: Health officials confirm an adult younger than 55 is the first person on Long Island to be diagnosed with WNV this year. – See http://online.wsj.com/article/APfba916de7d1842ad8308dac84dc0128e.html

North Dakota 08/07/12 Dickey County: State health officials announced the first human case of WNV reported in the state this year. The patient is a 50-year-old male who has been hospitalized. – See http://www.kfyrtv.com/News_Stories.asp?news=58543

Ohio 08/05/12: Ohio health officials are confirming the state’s second human case of WNV this year. Meanwhile, recent tests in Summit County show an increase in the number of cases of mosquitoes infected with the virus over last year. The Department of Health confirmed the virus Aug. 1 in a 48-year-old man in Cuyahoga County near Cleveland, the Associated Press reported. He was hospitalized with inflammation of the brain. An 85-year-old man was hospitalized with WNV encephalitis in Clermont County, in southwest Ohio, the state Department of Health confirmed July 27. The agency on Aug. 1 said more than 445 mosquito pools have tested positive for the virus so far this year, a jump from under 60 around this time last year. – See http://www.hudsonhubtimes.com/news/article/5207378

Pennsylvania 08/06/12 Franklin & Lancaster counties: Two counties present first human cases of WNV in the state this year. A Franklin County woman is now recovering after being hospitalized with meningitis due to WNV, and a Lancaster County woman is recovering after contracting West Nile fever, the milder form of WNV. Due to an unprecedented level of mosquitoes carrying WNV, the Department of Health strongly urges residents to minimize their exposure to mosquitoes. – See http://www.marketwatch.com/story/pennsylvania-department-of-health-reports-first-west-nile-virus-human-cases-of-2012-2012-08-06

South Dakota 08/06/12 Hughes County: State health officials reported today that a county resident in the 80 to 89 age group has died of WNV. It is the first death related to WNV in the state since 2007. – See https://mail.google.com/mail/?hl=en&shva=1#inbox/138fcd6c3bdc6b14

Utah 08/06/12 Box Elder County: Public health officials verified the state’s first human case of WNV for 2012. The individual is between the age of 18 and 39. – See http://fox13now.com/2012/08/06/health-officials-confirm-first-human-case-of-west-nile-virus/


Alabama 08/07/12 Rock Stand, Randolph County: A domestic cat that was growling and acting strangely has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.therandolphleader.com/news/article_e6e825fc-e0ae-11e1-b6c5-001a4bcf887a.html

New Jersey 08/06/12 Upper Deerfield, Cumberland County: A raccoon found fighting with a dog in the backyard of a local residence has tested positive for rabies, according to health department staff. No people were bitten, but the resident was exposed to the raccoon’s saliva. – See http://www.nj.com/cumberland/index.ssf/2012/08/rabies_case_confirmed_in_upper.html

New York 08/06/12 poughkeepsiejournal.com: Public health officials are looking for a person who was bitten by a cat believed to have rabies. On the morning of Aug. 1 at the Mobil gasoline station at 298 Titusville Rd. in LaGrange, a gray juvenile tabby cat with stripes was exhibiting symptoms consistent with rabies, the department notice said. After the cat bit two people, it ran off into nearby woods. Of two people bitten, one has received treatment. But the other has not, so far as health officials know. She is a woman in her early 20’s with short brown hair or a ponytail who was wearing a teal-colored shirt and khaki pants, believed to live locally. Immediate treatment for potentially rabid animal bites is critical for the individual’s health. Anyone who can help should call the Dutchess County Department of Health at 845-486-3404 weekdays or 845-431-6465 after-hours.

South Carolina 08/06/12 Simpsonville, Greenville County: A bat found inside a local home has tested positive for rabies, according to state health officials. – See http://www.greenvilleonline.com/article/20120806/NEWS/308060058/Bat-tests-positive-rabies-Simpsonville?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|News&nclick_check=1

CDC Reports:

CDC MMWR Summary for Week ending July 28, 2012:

Published August 3, 2012/ 61(30); ND-410-ND-423

Anaplasmosis . . . 19 . . . Alabama, Missouri, New York (17),

Babesiosis . . . 8 . . . New York (8),

Brucellosis . . . 1 . . . North Carolina,  

Ehrlichiosis . . . 9 . . . Arkansas, Florida, Missouri (2), New York, Tennessee, Virginia (3),

Giardiasis . . . 119 . . . Alabama, Alaska (2), Arkansas (2), Florida (20), Idaho, Iowa (3), Maine, Maryland (2), Michigan, Missouri (3), Nebraska (3), Nevada (2), New York (28), Ohio (13), Oregon (4), Pennsylvania (14), South Carolina (2), Virginia, Washington (14), West Virginia, Wisconsin,

Lyme Disease . . .  254. . .  Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware (9), Florida (3), Maryland (18), Nebraska (2), New York (108), Ohio (3), Pennsylvania (67), Vermont (9), Virginia (29) Washington (4)

Rabies (Animal) . . . 41. . . Alabama, Illinois (3), Kentucky, New York (13), Ohio (2), Texas (8), Vermont (2), Virginia (11),

Spotted Fever including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (Confirmed) . . . 2. . . Missouri (2), 

Spotted Fever including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (Probable) . . . 34 . . . Alabama (5), Arkansas (5), Florida (4), Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri (5), New York, Ohio, Tennessee (3), Virginia (8).

CDC HEALTH ADVISORY says more cases of new SWINE FLU VIRUS appear in three states ~ RABBITS near COLORADO’s Plaster Reservoir infected with TULAREMIA ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from CAx4, IL, IN, LA, MI, & TX ~ RABIES reports from CA, CO, GA, MN, NH, NJ, NY, NC, PA, & VA.

Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Agriculture.

National 08/03/12 npr.org: by Rob Stein – Federal health officials Friday reported a jump this summer in the number of people who have gotten infected with a new swine flu virus. Sixteen cases of the new H3N2 swine flu have been confirmed in the last few weeks, including 12 in the last week alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Ten of last week’s cases occurred in Ohio, while the two others were in Indiana and Hawaii. The new cases bring the total number of cases of the new virus in people to 29 since the pathogen was first identified last year. Almost all the infections have occurred in people who had close contact with pigs — mostly kids at agricultural fairs.

Officials aren’t too worried yet because the virus isn’t spreading easily from person to person. Only three of the cases were hospitalized and no one has died, according the CDC’s Joseph Bresee. But whenever a pig virus jumps to people, it always raises concerns about a possible outbreak because so few people have immunity against it. And, as we’ve reported, there’s been more talk in recent years about the need for better monitoring the health of the animals most likely to pass on a flu virus with pandemic potential — pigs and birds. Some have criticized the pork industry for its reluctance to share data with human health officials. In 2010, the CDC and U.S. Department of Agriculture finally set up a surveillance system for pigs they’ve been discussing for years. But as for the current outbreak, the CDC is urging are urging people to wash their hands a lot and take other precautions whenever they have close contact with pigs.

Colorado 08/03/12 broomfieldenterprise.com: Tularemia has been found in rabbits collected near Plaster Reservoir in Broomfield. Broomfield Public Health and Environment on Thursday confirmed tularemia in the rabbits collected from the area south and west of the reservoir, which is northeast of 136th Avenue and Lowell Boulevard. Tests were conducted after residents noticed several dead rabbits and biting deer flies in the area. The threat to humans from the outbreak is thought to be minimal and no trails will be closed, but Public Health and Environment Division is advising residents to avoid handling or coming into contact rodents, squirrels and rabbits. Tularemia is rare among humans, with less than 200 cases reported each year, according to the city. “It’s not a disease that is typically on our radar from year to year” for humans, said Public Health Officer Jeff Stoll. Though rare, people can be infected through tick and deer fly bites, handling animal carcasses, drinking contaminated water and breathing in contaminated dust.  – For complete article see http://www.broomfieldenterprise.com/broomfield-news/ci_21228895/tularemia-found-rabbits-near-plaster-reservoir-broomfield?source=most_viewed

West Nile Virus (WNV):

California 08/03/12 Sacramento & Yolo counties: Vector control officials announced today that further evidence of WNV activity has been detected in the two counties as 41 mosquito samples, 43 dead birds, and 2 sentinel chickens tested positive for the virus this week. – https://mail.google.com/mail/?hl=en&shva=1#inbox/138ee6eb7b69010b

California 08/04/12 Rohnert Park, Sonoma County: The Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District announced today that 2 (two) groups of mosquitoes have tested positive for WNV. The infected mosquitoes were trapped near Wilfred Avenue. – See http://rohnertpark.patch.com/articles/rohnert-park-mosquitoes-test-postive-for-west-nile-virus

California 08/03/12 Kern County: The Department of Public Health has announced the state’s first fatality of the year due to WNV. An 88-year-old woman died after being infected by the virus, which is transmitted from mosquitoes to humans. – See http://www.latimes.com/health/boostershots/la-heb-west-nile-virus-fatality-california-20120803,0,5389803.story

California 08/04/12 Manteca, San Joaquin County: Officials have confirmed the first case of WNV in a horse, and the second confirmed human case in the county. – See http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120804/A_NEWS/208040324

Illinois 08/03/12 Skokie, Cook County: A 76-year-old woman has been hospitalized in what village officials are calling the first confirmed human case of WNV in the village this year. – See http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-08-03/news/chi-skokie-woman-hospitalized-with-west-nile-20120803_1_skokie-woman-west-nile-virus-adult-mosquitoes

Indiana 08/03/12 Hamillton & Marion counties: The state’s first human cases of WNV have been confirmed in two separate counties. – See http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20120803/BLOGS01/120809836

Louisiana 08/03/12 sfgate.com: Two people have died in the state as a result of WNV infections. The health department said Friday that the number of overall WNV infections in the state rose this week by 21 for a total of 53. WNV infections usually cause no symptoms or relatively mild flu-like symptoms. But, in some cases, the mosquito-borne virus causes life-threatening brain or spinal cord diseases — also known as neuroinvasive diseases — such as encephalitis or meningitis. – See http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/2-West-Nile-deaths-reported-in-La-3760956.php

Michigan 08/03/12 Wayne County: Health officials confirm two human cases of WNV. Both patients were hospitalized with meningitis but have since been treated and released. – See http://www.freep.com/article/20120803/NEWS02/120803060/West-Nile-virus-reported-in-2-Wayne-County-adults

Texas 08/03/12 Williamson County: The county is grappling with human cases of mosquito-borne WNV, according to local health officials who said they are investigating two cases of the more serious neuroinvasive form of the ailment, which affects the nervous system. – See http://www.statesman.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/austin/health/entries/2012/08/03/williamson_county_also_grappli.html?cxntfid=blogs_salud


California 08/02/12 Fremont, Alameda County: Two bats were found last month that have tested positive for rabies bringing to four the number of the diseased animals found in the county this year, officials confirmed Thursday. The Mexican free-tailed bats were discovered Tuesday and July 25 in undisclosed locations. – See http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_21221281/two-rabid-bats-found-fremont

Colorado 08/03/12 Cañon City, Fremont County: A bat found at the Cañon City Public Library, 516 Macon Ave., on Wednesday has tested positive for rabies. The Fremont County Public Health Agency is asking anyone who had direct contact with the bat to notify them at 275-1626 and to immediately contact their health care provider about the possible need for rabies post-exposure treatment. – See http://www.canoncitydailyrecord.com/news/canoncity-local-news/ci_21230155/rabid-bat-caught-at-ca-city-public-library

Georgia 08/03/12 Richmond Hill, Bryan County: A family dog had to be euthanized this week after interacting with a raccoon that tested positive for rabies. The dog was not up to date on its shots. This is the third raccoon in the county in the past two months found carrying the deadly disease. – See http://www2.wsav.com/news/2012/aug/03/rabies-threat-forces-richmond-hill-family-euthaniz-ar-4268946/

Minnesota 08/03/12 Aitkin, Aitkin County: Carol Schefers, 38, has no intention of swimming in a Minnesota lake again. On July 28th, she was attacked and bitten by an otter. The incident occurred on Ude Lake in Aitkin. Schefers suffered bites on her legs, foot, and one hand, and spent 9 hours in a hospital being treated for potential exposure to rabies. This is the second otter attack in a northern Minnesota lake in less than a month. – See http://www.kare11.com/news/article/985521/391/Another-MN-woman-attacked-by-an-otter?odyssey=tab|topnews|bc|large

New Hampshire 08/02/12 Bartlett, Carroll County: A fox found near Nordic Village on Route 16 in the Glen neighborhood has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.conwaydailysun.com/index.php/newsx/local-news/91711-rabid-fox-found-in-bartlett

New Jersey 08/02/12 Burlington County: Two wild animals in Palmyra and Cinnaminson have tested positive for rabies, according to Palmyra Police, after one tried to attack a family’s two dogs. A fox and a groundhog, who were either found dead or killed on the 900 and 1100 blocks of Morgan Avenue, were tested by county officials. Both came back positive for rabies. – See http://cinnaminson.patch.com/articles/two-wild-animals-in-palmyra-tested-positive-for-rabies

New York 08/02/12 LaGrange, Dutchess County: Dutchess County health officials are looking into the possibility that a cat that bit two people in the Town of LaGrange on Wednesday, August 1 at 9:40 a.m. may be rabid. After biting the two individuals, the cat ran off into the woods near the intersection of Noxon Road and Titusville Road. The cat is a gray juvenile tabby cat with stripes and is presumed to have rabies based on its behavior and appearance, the Dutchess County Health Department said Thursday. If you or someone you know, or any domestic pets were bitten by a cat matching that description within the past few days, or if you know the whereabouts of the animal, you are asked to call the Dutchess County Health Department as soon as possible at 845-486-3404.

North Carolina 08/02/12 Falls Lake, Wake County: A beaver attacked two swimmers and both are being treated for potential exposure to rabies. The beaver disappeared but within 24 hours there was a second incident and park employees shot the beaver, but it sank into the lake before they could recover the body. – See http://www2.nbc17.com/news/wake-county/2012/aug/02/8/beaver-attacks-2-falls-lake-ar-2486521/

Pennsylvania 08/03/12 Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area: A visitor to the park was bitten by a beaver Thursday while swimming in the Delaware River just south of Eshback Access, park Superintendent John J. Donahue said. The beaver tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.njherald.com/story/19193535/rabid-beaver-bites-delaware-water-gap-park-visitor

Virginia 08/02/12 Bedford: A fox that was found last month in the city has tested positive for rabies, officials said Thursday. – See http://www2.newsadvance.com/news/2012/aug/02/rabid-fox-found-bedford-ar-2103601/


Tamworth hog. Photo by Caroline Ford. Wikimedia Commons.

National 12/09/11 go.com: by Kim Carollo – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced two cases of flu caused by two new viruses associated with swine. The illnesses affected children in West Virginia and Minnesota, who both eventually recovered. The virus found in West Virginia, known as H3N2, has a mixture of genes from swine, human and bird flu viruses. There have been 10 other cases of infection with this virus across the country in previous years. The child in Minnesota became ill with a form of the virus called H1N2, also found in swine. It’s only the second known case of infection with this virus in the U.S. In both current cases, there was no contact with any swine, meaning the virus was transmitted from person to person. The virus has not spread to other humans, CDC reported.

The number of humans infected by viruses previously found only in swine has increased over the past couple of years, and the agency says that could be due to better identification of virus strains, more monitoring of flu cases, or an actual increase in the number of cases either from direct or close contact with swine or as a result of person-to-person transmission. While CDC does recommend that people get a flu shot, the shot will not protect against viruses found in swine. There are two antivirals — oseltamivir and zanamivir — that are effective against illnesses caused by these viruses. In addition, people should not eat pork products that are not properly cooked or handled.

Florida 12/10/11 dailycommercial.com: Lake County residents are being advised to limit their exposure to mosquitoes after two horses in the Groveland area died from complications of the Eastern equine encephalitis virus. Neither of the horses had received EEE vaccinations, the Lake County Health Department said in a news release. They are the first reported equine deaths from EEE in the county this year. EEE is caused by a virus transmitted by mosquitoes and can infect humans. The risk of transmission to humans has been increased, the department said. Florida averages more than 70 reported cases of EEE each year, and the virus is a concern in horse communities like Lake County. The disease is transmitted to horses, and sometimes humans, by mosquitoes that have become infected after feeding on birds, which circulate the virus. The virus is not transmitted directly from an infected horse to other horses or people. Among the precautions: drain standing water to stop mosquitoes from multiplying; cover doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out; and cover skin with clothing or repellent. The Health Department also recommends that horse and livestock owners contact veterinarians about vaccinations against mosquito-borne diseases. Residents are encouraged to report dead birds at www.myfwc.com/bird. For more information, go to http://www.doh.state.fl.us/environment/medicine/arboviral/index.html or call the Lake County Health Department at 352-253-6130.

COYOTE-WOLF hybrids spread south along U.S. eastern seaboard ~ Delaware confirms first case of TULAREMIA (RABBIT FEVER) since 2003 ~ Illinois officials issue COYOTE warning ~ CDC News: Two news cases of SWINE FLU (H3N2) confirmed in Maine and Indiana.

Coyote-Wolf Hybrid aka Red Wolf. PD. Wikimedia Commons.

National 11/07/11 nationalgeographic.com: by Christine Dell’Amore – Scientists already knew that some coyotes, which have been gradually expanding their range eastward, mated with wolves in the Great Lakes (map) region. The pairings created viable hybrid offspring—identified by their DNA and skulls—that have been found in mid-Atlantic states such as New York and Pennsylvania. Now, new DNA analysis of coyote poop shows for the first time that some coyotes in the state of Virginia are also part wolf.

Scientists think these animals are coyote-wolf hybrids that traveled south from New England along the Appalachian Mountains. The study also identified another coyote migration route moving through the southern states. “You have a situation where you have these two waves of coyotes coming into the mid-Atlantic, a terminus for coyote colonization,” said study leader Christine Bozarth, a research fellow at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia. Northern Virginia in particular seems to be a convergence point for coyote migrations, Bozarth said—and the animals’ numbers are increasing there, especially in suburban areas where food is more plentiful. – For complete article go to http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/11/111107-hybrids-coyotes-wolf-virginia-dna-animals-science/

Delaware 11/07/11 Kent County: Last month, the Delaware Public Health Laboratory confirmed the first case of tularemia in the state since 2003. The afflicted Kent County man was hospitalized and undergoing treatment for the disease caused by an infectious bacterium. See http://www.prlog.org/11717729-first-case-of-tularemia-in-eight-years-hits-delaware.html

Illinois 11/03/11 Aurora, Kane County: Animal Control officials issue warning to pet owners after a coyote kills a small dog. See http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20111102/news/711029674/

CDC News:

National 11/04/11 cdc.gov: CDC has confirmed two additional cases of human infection with a swine–origin influenza A (H3N2) virus that carries the M gene from the 2009 H1N1 virus. The cases were reported by Maine and Indiana (bringing the total number of cases confirmed to 7 so far this year). There is no evidence at this time of an epidemiological link between these two patients or any person to person transmission associated with either of these cases. Both patients reported exposure to pigs prior to their illness. Human infections with swine influenza viruses are rare, but do occur. In most cases, these infections are associated with exposure to infected pigs. The swine-origin influenza A (H3N2) virus with the M gene acquired from the 2009 H1N1 virus that caused the 2009-2010 pandemic was first detected in a child in Indiana in July 2011. Subsequently, three additional cases (cases 2 through 4) of human infection with swine–origin influenza A (H3N2) viruses carrying the same genetic change were detected in Pennsylvania. A fifth case was identified in Maine in October. All of these prior cases had direct exposure to pigs, except for one patient who had a caretaker with swine exposure.

The acquisition of the M gene likely occurred as a result of swine being co–infected with the swine influenza A (H3N2) virus and the human 2009 H1N1 virus. While we know the M gene plays a role in influenza virus infection, assembly and replication, the significance of this change in these swine–origin influenza A (H3N2) viruses is unknown at this time. CDC continues to investigate the implications of this genetic change. Both of the most recent patients confirmed with swine–origin influenza A (H3N2) infection had been in close contact with live pigs during the week prior to their illness onset. Both patients have recovered from their illness.
Seasonal flu vaccine would not be expected to protect against these swine flu viruses because they are very different from seasonal human influenza A (H3N2) viruses. While there is no vaccine to protect humans against these swine–origin influenza viruses, there are two FDA–cleared drugs that can be used to treat illness with these viruses. The antiviral drugs oseltamivir and zanamivir – which are used to treat infection with human seasonal influenza viruses – also have shown activity against swine–origin influenza viruses. – For complete News Release go to http://www.cdc.gov/media/haveyouheard/stories/H3N2_virus2.html

(See also Natural Unseen Hazards posts dated September 3, September 6, and October 22, 2011.)