H3N2v Outbreak: Public Health Alert for Ohio Providers

Medscape Health Care Advisory e-mail alert for health care providers…

Outbreak of Variant Influenza A H3N2 Virus (H3N2v): Public Health Alert for Ohio Providers

Dear Health Care Provider,

On August 1, 2012, laboratory results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed an outbreak of variant Influenza A H3N2 virus (“H3N2v”) associated with swine exposure at the Butler County fair in Ohio. At this time there are nine confirmed cases associated with the outbreak. Currently the majority of people affected have been children, and there have been no hospitalizations reported due to this illness.

Because of the number of cases in Butler County as well as recent H3N2v confirmed cases in other states (IN and HI), the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has asked local health departments to work with health care providers to conduct enhanced surveillance for outbreaks and unusual cases of influenza-like illness (ILI). ILI is defined as fever ≥ 100° F, documented by a health care provider, with cough and/or sore throat in the absence of a known cause other than influenza. Providers should be on the alert for any cases of ILI and should consider collecting nasopharyngeal swabs for analysis in the following situations:

  1. Any outbreak of ILI: two or more cases of ILI with a common exposure (e.g., day care centers, fair attendance), especially in people with direct contact with swine
  2. Pediatric patients hospitalized with ILI
  3. Adults hospitalized for severe ILI (i.e., ICU)

Please contact the local health department in your jurisdiction for further information on how to collect and submit specimens for analysis.

Providers should be aware that patients infected with H3N2v may or may not have positive rapid test results.

Influenza transmission between swine and humans can be prevented by following hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette guidelines. More information can be found at:
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/swineflu/h3n2v-factsheet.htm

 

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