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Baby Rare Swine Flu Strain

December 14, 2011 by staff 

Baby Rare Swine Flu Strain, A Minnesota baby with a mild case of the flu has attracted national attention after officials discovered the child had a rare strain of virus that normally affects pigs, not people.

The baby, who fell ill in October, was only the second person in five years known to be infected with a novel strain of influenza A (H1N2) that is typically found in swine herds, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Health officials have been on the alert for cases like this because of concerns about new viruses spreading from animals to humans, especially since the H1N1 outbreak in 2009.

But there’s no sign that this virus poses a danger to the public, because no one else in the child’s family got sick, said Dr. Aaron DeVries, medical director of infectious disease for the Minnesota Department of Health.

“We haven’t observed any additional cases,” he said of the six weeks since the child developed symptoms.

DeVries said the case came to light because of a routine surveillance program in which flu samples are submitted to the state for testing. When lab tests confirmed the unusual strain, state officials notified the CDC.

Last week, the CDC reported the Minnesota case, along with a similar one in West Virginia. Both involved children who were infected with unusual strains of swine flu. But because neither child had any known contact with the animals, the CDC speculated that “limited human-to-human transmission may have occurred.”

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