Friday, August 24, 2012

Flu update

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations for the 2012-2013 flu season are now available. The Vaccine Information Statements (VIS) for influenza for the 2012-2013 season are also online

Influenza A H3N2v is a variant virus recently detected in the United States. The first case of H3N2v was detected in summer of 2011, with 12 total cases being detected in all of 2011. The virus has already been found in over 200 individuals to date in 2012. Maine has not identified any cases in 2012. Influenza A H3N2v is associated with exposures to pigs, and most cases had either direct contact with pigs, or indirect contact such as visiting a fair.

Maine identified 2 cases of influenza A H3N2v in the fall of 2011. Both of Maine’s cases had fair exposures, and one had direct pig contact.

Symptoms of influenza A H3N2v are similar to regular influenza including fever, cough, sore throat, and body aches. This virus can spread between humans and pigs, so sick humans should avoid animal contact, and the general public should avoid contact with ill animals.

Maine CDC and the Maine Department of Agriculture remind everyone to exercise good judgment while attending agricultural fairs. For recommendations and more information, see the health alert Maine CDC issued on Aug. 7.