Today, CDC is reporting 12 additional cases of H3N2 variant virus (H3N2v) infection, as well as the first H3N2v-associated death, which was reported by the state of Ohio.
The death occurred in an older adult with multiple underlying health conditions who reportedly had direct exposure to pigs in a fair setting.
While limited person-to-person spread of this virus has been detected and likely continues to occur sporadically, no sustained community transmission has been found.
CDC is monitoring this situation and working with states to respond to these evolving outbreaks. The agency continues to urge people at high risk from serious flu complications to stay away from pigs and pig arenas at fairs this summer.
"We’re saddened to hear about the death of one person in Ohio associated with the current H3N2v outbreaks," says CDC’s Dr. Lyn Finelli. "Like with seasonal flu, we have been – and continue to be – particularly concerned about people with factors that put them at high risk of serious complications if they get the flu. These people should absolutely not have contact with pigs or visit pig arenas at fairs this summer."
Dr. Finelli is Lead for the Surveillance and Outbreak Response Team in CDC’s Influenza Division.
High risk factors for serious flu complications include: being younger than 5 years (especially children younger than 2 years), or 65 and older, pregnancy, and certain chronic medical conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart disease, weakened immune systems, and neurological or neurodevelopmental conditions. A full list of high risk conditions is available on the CDC seasonal flu website.
"Anyone with a high risk factor should not only avoid pigs and pig arenas at fairs, but they should also seek prompt medical attention if they get flu-like symptoms, especially if they have pig exposure, but even in the absence of pig exposure," Finelli says.