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Influenza A (H3N2) Variant

The CDC is monitoring an Influenza A (H3N2) variant virus [A(H3N2)v] 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. Since July 2011, 12 people in the U.S. have been infected with the H3N3v virus, and most of the human cases have been mild. Three of the cases were hospitalized, but all have recovered. The CDC is watching this virus because some of the cases had contact with pigs, but some cases appear to have been transmitted between people.

Currently, the CDC is recommending that healthcare workers continue to follow the infection control principles and actions for seasonal influenza. The 2011-2012 seasonal vaccine is recommended for prevention of seasonal influenza and may provide limited protection against A(H3N2)v in adults. OSHA will continue to work with the CDC and update recommendations based on the situation. The CDC has more information about the H3N2v influenza A virus here.

OSHA also has guidance [1 MB PDF*, 2 pages] for protecting workers who may be exposed to known or suspected influenza infections in pigs.

Accessibility Assistance: Contact the OSHA Directorate of Technical Support and Emergency Management at (202) 693-2300 for assistance accessing PDF materials.

*These files are provided for downloading.