Update on H3N2 Variant Virus for New Hampshire Clinicians

|July 09, 2013
 

The New Hampshire Division of Public Health Services recommends:

  • Awareness of 2013 H3N2 variant (H3N2v) influenza virus activity and review of the alert from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Health Alert Network (HAN).

  • Maintenance of a heightened suspicion for the possibility of H3N2v in persons presenting with respiratory illness and recent swine contact or attendance at an agricultural fair.

  • Prompt testing via nasopharyngeal swab or aspirate and timely reporting (within 24 hours) of suspected cases of novel influenza to the Division of Public Health Services at 1-603-271-4496 (after hours, 1-800-852-3345, ext. 5300).

  • Review of your institutional pandemic respiratory virus control plans with the potential threat and impact of respiratory viruses such as H3N2v, MERS Co-V, and H7N9.

For detailed information and situational updates on H3N2v virus please refer to the CDC website.

Background

There have been no confirmed cases to date of H3N2 in New Hampshire. The first national cases of influenza A H3N2v virus infection this year were reported in June 2013. During the summer of 2012, 306 infections with influenza A H3N2v were identified in 10 states, including 16 hospitalizations and 1 fatality. Genetic sequencing by the CDC has confirmed that H3N2v viruses isolated in June 2013 are nearly identical to those detected during the summer of 2012. Most cases of H3N2v identified during 2012 were associated with exposure to pigs at agricultural fairs. Clinical characteristics of the 2012 and 2013 H3N2v cases have been generally consistent with those of seasonal influenza and have included fever, cough, pharyngitis, myalgia, and headache. None of the persons ill with 2013 H3N2v infection have been hospitalized, and no deaths have occurred among them.

Diagnostic Testing

For details on diagnostic testing and specimen submission to the New Hampshire Public Health Laboratories, please review the previous H3N2 HAN health advisory.

To acquire viral testing kits, contact the New Hampshire Public Health Laboratories office at 1-800-852-3345, ext. 4605, or 1-603-271-4605.

For any questions regarding the contents of this message, please contact the Bureau of Infectious Disease Control at 1-603-271-4496 (after hours, 1-800-852-3345, ext. 5300).

To obtain a copy of NH-HAN #20130708, dated 7/8/13, please visit the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services website.

From the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health Services.

 

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