N3H2v Influenza Case

March 2013

The Swine Exhibitions Zoonotic Influenza Working Group issued this document:

Measures to Minimize Influenza Transmission at Swine Exhibitions


August 13, 2012

The State Veterinarian has issued an advisory for Events and Programs involving Swine: ADVISORY FOR EVENTS AND PROGRAMS INVOLVING SWINE

July 31, 2012

The Hawaii Department of Health has reported what appears to be an isolated case of an influenza virus known to circulate within swine populations.  The virus, known as H3N2v, was recently confirmed in an adult resident on Maui.  The resident experienced symptoms consistent with the regular flu, including fever, cough, and body aches, and has since fully recovered without need for hospitalization. (Link to Department of Health news release:  https://hawaii.gov/health/about/pr/2012/12-040.pdf

The H3N2v virus identified in this case shares genetic similarities to variant flu viruses which have been identified in several other states in the past year.  The H3N2v virus has rarely infected humans and has caused only limited human-to-human infection.  This variant should not be confused with the H1N1 virus that caused an outbreak in humans in 2009.

Preliminary DOH investigative findings suggest this person had close contact with domestic pigs prior to flu symptoms.

H3N2v is not transmitted through prepared and properly cooked pork.

As a precaution, HDOA is advising that pig farmers and those who are in close contact with swine, increase their diligence in hygiene and appropriate preventive methods such as hand-washing. Biosecurity and other herd-health measures including vaccination of livestock to prevent spread of diseases between farms should always be in place. HDOA veterinarians will be testing herds that may be associated with this case to try and determine the source of the virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers the following guidance:

Take Action to Prevent the Spread of Flu Viruses Between People and Pigs

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and running water before and after exposure to animals.
  • Never eat, drink or put things in your mouth in animal areas.
  • Young children, pregnant women and people 65 and older should be extra careful around animals.
  • If you have animals – including swine – watch them for signs of illness and call a veterinarian if you suspect they might be sick.
  • Avoid close contact with animals that look or act ill, when possible, and
  • Avoid contact with pigs if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms.

If you must come in contact with pigs while you are sick, or if you must come in contact with pigs known or suspected to be infected, or their environment, you should use appropriate protective measures (for example, wear protective clothing, gloves, masks that cover your mouth and nose, and other personal protective equipment) and practice good respiratory and hand hygiene.


Any suspected illnesses should be reported immediately to HDOA Animal Disease Control Branch on Oahu at 483-7106; or after hours at (808) 837-8092 or e-mail:  [email protected]