In an ongoing spike in variant H3N2 (H3N2v) influenza cases linked to Maryland county fairs, state health officials today reported 12 more presumed or confirmed cases today, as the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provided more details on 32 of the most recent cases, which includes one from Delaware.
Confirmation tests are still under way for some of Maryland cases, but the state has now reported 32 presumed or confirmed H3N2v cases, making this year's H3N2v total the highest since the record year in 2012, when 309 cases were reported.
Cancelled swine exhibits
The Maryland cases so far are in people who had close contact with pigs at fairs in three counties: Charles, Anne Arundel, and Frederick.
State agriculture officials have placed a hold on sick pigs from the Frederick County fair, as well as some farms in the area that house fair pigs that left the facility before the virus was detected. Only one more county fair is slated to take place in Maryland this season, and, as a precaution, officials have cancelled swine exhibits at the Calvert County Fair.
On Sep 27, Delaware's Division of Public Health reported that state's first H3N2v case, involving a girl who had contact with pigs at the Anne Arundel County Fair in Maryland.
CDC reports epi profile, testing status
In its weekly FluView report, the CDC said today it has received reports of 32 recent H3N2v infections from Maryland and Delaware and has confirmed 14 as H3N2v. The other 18 cases are presumed positives identified at Maryland's public health laboratory, and tests are under way at the CDC to fully characterize them.
All 32 patients had exposure to pigs at one of three fairs the week before they got sick, and swine influenza A (H3N2) was identified in pig respiratory samples from two of the locations.
Thirty of the illnesses are in children, and two are in adults older than 50. One of the patients was hospitalized but is recovering. All of the others are recovering or have fully recovered.
The CDC said investigations have found no human-to-human transmission related to the cases.
So far, the CDC said it has received reports of 34 confirmed variant flu cases this year, 32 involving H3N2v and two related to variant H1N2 (H1N2v). The variant flu case total would rise to 52 if CDC tests confirm H3N2v in the 18 Maryland presumed positives.
Sep 29 MDH updated case count
Sep 29 CDC FluView report
Sep 28 CIDRAP News scan "Maryland and Delaware report 6 more H3N2v cases"