New influenza A virus found in Canadian pig farm workers

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New influenza A virus found in Canadian pig farm workers

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Jul 11, 2009
By dvm360.com staff
Saskatchewan, Canada -- Canadian public health officials are investigating a new strain of influenza that has sickened two pig farm workers in Saskatchewan.

The workers stricken by the virus suffered only mild sickness and recovered fully, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada, which is not anticipating a large threat to public health.

?Preliminary results indicate the risk to public health is low and that Canadians who have been vaccinated against the other regular, seasonal flu should have some immunity to this new flu strain,? says Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq.

The virus is not a new strain of the pandemic H1N1 flu virus, but contains genes from a seasonal H1N1 flu strain and a flu virus often found in pig herds called triple reassortment H3N2. There is no evidence of the new human strain in the present swine herd, Canadian officials say, but initial testing at the hog farm suggests some of the herd is infected with the commonly found swine influenza A virus.

Canadian health officials notified the World Health Organization about the detection of the new virus and have pledged continued surveillance.