Influenza A (H3N2) Variant
The CDC is monitoring an influenza A (H3N2) variant virus (“H3N2v”]) which has infected pigs and humans. A variant virus is an influenza virus that normally circulates and causes illness in pigs, but once a human is infected, it is called a "variant" influenza virus. The CDC is watching this virus because most of the cases had contact with pigs, but some cases appear to have been transmitted between people. Symptoms and severity of the H3N2v illness have been similar to seasonal flu.
Since July 2011, 345 people in the U.S. have reported infection with the H3N3v virus, and most human cases have been mild. Twenty of the cases were hospitalized, with only 1 reported death. For the most current information from CDC about the influenza A H3N2v virus and how best to prevent it, click here. OSHA will continue to work with the CDC and update recommendations based on the situation.
See also, OSHA Fact Sheet: Influenza in Workers and Pigs: Guidance for Commercial Swine Farmers and Pork Producers (PDF*) (October 2010), for protecting workers who may be exposed to known or suspected influenza infections in pigs.
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