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Wed August 15, 2012
Swine Flu variant strain found in Michigan child
The Kent County Health Department today reported that the first case of H3N2v influenza infection has been identified in a child from Washtenaw County.
The press release says the child was reportedly around swine at the Ingham County Fair this August, where the child may have contracted the infection. The H3N2v flu was mild in this case, and did not require hospitalization.
This version of the flu, a variant of "swine flu" or the H3N2 influenza virus, typically does not transmit from pigs to humans, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports ten times as many cases nationally so far this year, as compared to 2011.
According to WebMD, this year may be different because H3N2v has picked a gene from the 2009 pandemic flu virus that may allow it to better infect humans.
Nearly all of this summer's cases were detected in states bordering Michigan.
Here are some tips from the CDC about how to protect yourself and your children when near pigs.
So far, there is no vaccine to guard against this strain, though the CDC does recommend that Michiganders
do get the influenza vaccine this year to protect against other kinds of the flu.