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Thursday 22nd August 2019

Swine flu in the US update

22nd August 2012

The Health Protection Agency has confirmed it is closely monitoring developments in America where there have been cases of swine flu.

It said it is aware there have been nearly 250 human cases of swine-origin influenza A(H3N2)v virus in the recent USA outbreak, though the virus has mainly affected children and young adults and is mild in nature, with most having had contact with pigs.

This virus has not been identified in pigs or humans in the UK, say the HPA.

Professor Nick Phin from the HPA’s influenza department said: “There are no UK cases of this strain of H3N2 in humans or pigs and it has not spread to other countries in Europe, so the threat to the UK public is very low. We are keeping a very close watch on the situation in the US and are in contact with our American colleagues to regularly assess the risk.

“We are reassured that there is little evidence to support human to human spread and that virtually all of the cases can be associated with direct contact with pigs.

“We are now approaching this year’s flu season and so I want to take this opportunity to remind anybody who is in an ‘at risk’ group to ensure they get their flu vaccination as soon as the vaccination programme begins to ensure the best protection over the coming winter.”

The HPA is advising travellers returning to the UK with an influenza-like illness - who have had contact with pigs in the USA - to undergo further investigation.


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