The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported today one human infection with a novel influenza A virus from the state of Iowa. The person was infected with an influenza A (H1N1) variant (H1N1v) virus and was hospitalized as a result of their illness. No human-to-human transmission has been identified and the case reported close contact with swine in the week prior to illness onset.
Iowa has reported 10 “variant viruses” (H1N1v-4 and H3N2v-6) since 2005.
When an influenza virus that normally circulates in swine is detected in a person, it is called a variant influenza virus and is labeled with a ‘v’.
Influenza viruses such as H1N1(v) and other related variants are not unusual in swine and can be directly transmitted from swine to people and from people to swine.
When humans are in close proximity to live swine, such as in barns and livestock exhibits at fairs, movement of these viruses can occur back and forth between humans and animals.
The illnesses resulting from H1N1(v) infection are similar to seasonal influenza. Symptoms include fever, muscle aches, decreased energy, coughing, runny nose, and sore throat. Contact your health care provider if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms and inform the doctor if you have had contact with swine.
Robert Herriman is a microbiologist and the Editor-in-Chief of Outbreak News Today