When I saw this headline I briefly thought it might be a Sherlock Holmes medical mystery of sorts. Then it dawned on me my medical subscriptions come to the same email address as many of my writer/blogger subscriptions. I also remembered novel could mean new. Duh. Nonetheless I think this is worth sharing.
Cases of Novel Swine Influenza Surging
(Article by Robert Lowes)
The number of individuals sickened by a novel swine influenza virus since July 2011 has surged to 29, with 12 new cases reported this week, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced today.
These 12 cases number among 16 reported during the last 3 weeks.
Of the 12 swine influenza cases from this week, 10 involved patients who had been exposed to pigs at a county fair in Butler County, Ohio, 1 involved a patient had been exposed to swine at a county fair in Indiana, and 1 involved a farmer in Hawaii who worked with pigs. None of the 12 patients were hospitalized.
Direct or indirect contact with pigs explains how most of the 29 individuals, predominantly children, caught the virus.
[You may have already heard it but this part is really important y’all]
The CDC has identified a few cases of human-to-human transmission, and the agency is closely monitoring the virus to see whether it mutates into a version more easily spread among humans. A study published in February reported that the virus has “pandemic potential” among humans.
Just in case, the agency has developed a pilot vaccine against the novel virus that is scheduled for clinical trials later this year.
In the meantime, the CDC is advising individuals who may get up close and personal with pigs to take precautions, which include:
- washing hands with soap and water before and after exposure to swine,
- never eating or drinking in swine areas, and
- avoiding close contact with swine that appear to be sick.
*At higher risk are children under 5 years, adults 65 years and older, pregnant women, and people with certain chronic illnesses such as asthma or heart disease. These should avoid pigs altogether.
Article edited by me to save you a little time and boredom. Full article available at Medscape.com