The United States has reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) a confirmed human infection with a new strain of A(H1N2) influenza virus identified in the state of Michigan.

According to information from the WHO and the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a minor under the age of 18 does not require hospitalization and is recovering from the disease.

Investigation by local public health officials has identified a patient’s exposure to swine at an agricultural fair as a possible route of infection. At present, there is no evidence that “sustained transmission” from person to person has occurred.

The minor complained of fever, cough, sore throat, muscle pain, headache, shortness of breath, diarrhoea, nausea, dizziness and lethargy. On July 29, he went to the ER and on July 30 an upper respiratory tract sample was collected. Influenza A virus was confirmed in the sample on the same day. On August 1, he received antiviral treatment (oseltamivir) for the flu.

This is the first influenza A(H1N2) virus infection identified in the United States this year. Since 2005, 512 influenza A virus infections (all subtypes), including 37 (influenza A (H1N2) virus infections in humans), have been reported in the United States.

Swine influenza A(H1N2) viruses circulate in swine populations in many regions of the world. Human infection is usually caused by direct or indirect contact with pigs or a contaminated environment. There may be significant antigenic and genetic differences between seasonal influenza viruses circulating in human populations worldwide and influenza viruses typically circulating in swine.

Non-seasonal or zoonotic influenza viruses that infect humans can cause illness ranging from mild conjunctivitis to severe pneumonia and even death; These human zoonotic influenza infections are usually acquired through direct contact with infected animals or contaminated environments.

Through a statement, WHO has clarified that this case does not modify existing recommendations on public health measures and surveillance of seasonal influenza. In other words, no special screening of travelers or restrictions are advised at entry points with respect to the current status of influenza virus at the human-animal interface.

In any case, they recommend avoiding contact with animals that are sick or dead of unknown cause, including wild animals, and to report the death of wild birds and mammals or request for removal by contacting your local veterinary or wildlife authorities. request.

WHO advises that travelers visiting countries with known outbreaks of animal influenza avoid contact with animals on farms, live animal markets, entering areas where animals may be slaughtered, or those contaminated with animal feces Avoid contact with any surface. Travelers should also frequently wash their hands with soap and water.

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