H3N2v, also known as H3N2 variant, influenza A was first reported in pigs in the United States in 2010. It is deemed a variant strain because it has been found to infect humans even though it normally circulates within populations of pigs. Cases of H3N2v influenza A infections in humans were first reported in the United States in 2011. Please review the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) H3N2v Influenza web page at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/swineflu/h3n2v-basics.htm for the most current updates on case numbers and affected states/countries..
CDC is working closely with state and local officials and international partners to provide assistance with epidemiologic investigation, diagnostic testing and the provision of guidance documents.
The symptoms of H3N2v influenza virus in people are similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some cases also report diarrhea and vomiting.
Georgia is conducting enhanced surveillance to identify H3N2v influenza illness. The goals of enhanced surveillance are to determine the severity of H3N2v influenza disease and describe the epidemiologic pattern of human illness with this virus strain.
The best way to prevent influenza, is to get vaccinated and to practice proper hygienic practices. 2012-2013 influenza vaccine is available at public health departments, clinics and healthcare provider offices. For more information, visit flu vaccine locator tool at http://flushot.healthmap.org.
The Georgia Department of Public Health is recommending the following infection prevention measures:
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. Or you may cough or sneeze into your sleeve to contain the droplets (not your hands).
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are also effective.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- If you get sick, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
For more information on preventing the flu and other diseases, see Infection Prevention Tips for Staying Healthy.
In addition, Georgia residents should:
- Follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds and other social distancing measures.
- Develop a family emergency plan as a precaution. This should include storing a supply of food, medicines, facemasks, alcohol-based hand sanitizers and other essential supplies.
- Stay informed. The most up-to-date information about influenza can be found on the CDC's website or by calling 1-800-CDC-INFO for more information.
If people are ill, they should attempt to stay at home and limit contact with others until they are symptom-free for 24hrs. If you are caring for a sick family member in your home, CDC has provided valuable information for home care and for protecting yourself and family members here.
Laboratory testing for seasonal influenza is available at the Georgia Public Health Laboratory and through several reference laboratories. Please read the updatedGuidance for Novel Influenza Virus Testing for more information on testing through the Georgia Public Health Laboratory.
The Georgia Department of Public Health follows CDC guidance and recommendations. Information about seasonal influenza guidance and recommendations can be found on the CDC website.