H3N2v sickens Texas resident who had contact with pigs; US flu ebbs
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported the nation's first variant H3N2 (H3N2v) case of the year, a Texas resident who had contact with swine before illness began, according to a weekly flu update, which noted further decline in seasonal flu activity.
The CDC said the H3N2v case was detected through the Department of Defense's global flu surveillance program. The patient got sick a week after contact with swine at an agricultural event, a known risk factor for H3N2v illness. He or she was not hospitalized and has fully recovered.
H3N2v was first detected in humans in 2011, spiking to 309 US cases the following summer, many of them linked to exposure to swine exhibits. Cases have declined rapidly since then, with 18 cases reported in 2016.
In seasonal flu developments, flu markers continued to decline, but the disease is still having an impact, with 10 more pediatric deaths reported and flu still widespread in a few states in the northeastern part of the country.
Six of the pediatric deaths occurred between February and the end of April and three were reported from the 2015-2016 seasons. Six were from influenza B, one from H3N2, one from 2009 H1N1, and two from unsubtyped influenza A viruses. Due to a reclassification of an earlier pediatric flu death, the total for the season is now at 89, the CDC said.
All of the CDC's 10 regions are now below their baselines for clinic visits for flulike illness, and other indicators it uses to gauge flu activity are below baselines or epidemic thresholds. Influenza B last week was the most frequently detected strain, typical for late in the season.
The number of states that reported widespread flu last week was down to three: Connecticut, New Hampshire, and New York.
May 5 CDC FluView report
Mexico reports H7N3 recurrence, UK detects H5N8 again
Mexico yesterday reported a highly pathogenic H7N3 outbreak at a commercial poultry farm, its first since May 2016, and the United Kingdom reported another H5N8 outbreak, prompting another round of restrictions.
In Mexico, the H7N3 outbreak was found during active surveillance in chickens at a layer farm in Jalisco state in the central part of the country that didn't have any clinical signs, according to a notification yesterday from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). The event began on Apr 18. Mexican officials said the flock had been vaccinated against the disease 18 weeks earlier.
The 151,132 birds at the facility are being destroyed, and officials have quarantined the area and set up restriction and surveillance zones. The source of the outbreak hasn't been determined and an investigation is still underway. Mexico reported several H7N3 outbreaks in the same area in 2016.
Elsewhere, the United Kingdom's Department for Food, Environment, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) said yesterday that H5N8 has been detected again, this time in backyard chickens near the city of Thornton in northwest England's Lancashire County. The detection prompted the placement of a 3-km protection zone and a 10-km surveillance zone around the farm. Officials said a ban on poultry gathering across the UK remains in place through May 15.
May 4 OIE report on H7N3 in Mexico
May 4 DEFRA report
In other avian flu developments, an OIE update from South Korea on H5N6 outbreaks on poultry farms said 273 events that occurred on poultry farms between Nov 23, 2016 and Dec 26, 2016 killed 29,922 birds and led to the culling of 20,190,073 more. The outbreaks were reported from a wide part of the country, mostly in its western half. Most occurred at duck farms, but several layer farms were also hit by the virus.
May 4 OIE report on H5N6 in South Korea