Influenza A (H3N2) Variant Virus
The Maryland Department of Health has presumptively identified the influenza virus strain H3N2v (variant flu) in individuals who had close contact with pigs at fairs in Charles County, Anne Arundel County, and Frederick County.
Influenza is an infection caused by the influenza virus which can affect people and other animals, including pigs and birds. Symptoms for the H3N2v strain are the same as seasonal flu and include fever and respiratory symptoms, such as sore throat and cough. Like seasonal influenza, variant influenza typically causes mild illness. Certain people are at higher risk for complications of influenza, including children under five, the elderly, pregnant women, and those with chronic heart, lung, liver, kidney and neurologic conditions or immunosuppression. These individuals should consider avoiding exposure to pigs and swine barns, especially where sick pigs have been identified.
Historically, there is limited human to human transmission from this strain of variant flu. The treatment recommendations for this strain of influenza are the same as for seasonal flu.
It is recommended that people with influenza-like illness contact their healthcare provider and inform them if they have had pig contact within the past seven days. Providers are advised to contact their local health departments if they suspect variant flu in their patients to coordinate appropriate testing with their local health department. For local health department contact information, visit: https://health.maryland.gov/Pages/departments.aspx
Case Count (as of October 4, 2017)
40 presumptive positive and confirmed cases (including 2 hospitalizations)
MDH Press Releases
Guidance for Clinicians
Guidance for Schools and Child Care Settings