What’s New in Swine Flu – Three Novel Viruses

Flu season has arrived, and it’s sure to be a nuisance—but will it be interesting? This year, the CDC is keeping a keen eye on three novel swine flus that have infected humans. This pig-to-human transmission is noteworthy in itself, but there’s more: two of the three swine flu viruses have taken on genetic material from the 2009 H1N1 virus, in a process known as reassortment.

Confirming the onset of flu season is a February 10 Flu Report by the CDC; the arrival of flu season is nothing remarkable. But since August, the CDC has reported three novel influenza A virus variants (H3N2v, H1N1v, H2N2v) that have infected humans in the U.S., for a total of 14 cases. (Twelve of the 14 cases are H3N2v.) All three viruses originated in swine herds, and CDC has labeled the infection of humans with these swine flus as “rare events.” On December 9, the CDC was “taking this situation very seriously.” Read More >