H3N2 Swine FluA new strain of swine flu has been discovered in humans and it is continuing to spread throughout the US. So far approximately 150 cases have been reported, the majority of which have occurred in Indiana. Other states that have reported cases include Ohio, Illinois, Hawaii, Wisconsin, and Michigan. To date, sources say that no one has suffered any major complications from the new strain of influenza, H3N2, but health officials are on alert. One epidemiologist from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted that this is the time of year when many counties have fairs.  During these festivities, there is a notable increase in human-pig contact, and this type of contact can lead to people being exposed to swine flu.

As the name suggests, swine flu is typically caught from pigs or hogs that are suffering from influenza. Most people who contract swine flu work with pigs on a regular basis. However, once a human has swine flu, they can pass it on to other humans as the flu is very contagious. In 2009, the first known outbreak of swine flu hit the nation, causing the first influenza pandemic in over 40 years. The current outbreak of swine flu has farmers and people who work with pigs wary.  Yet, experts say that the new strain has not reached pandemic level.

36,000 Deaths Attributed to H3N2 Annually

Influenza, commonly referred to as the flu, is a viral respiratory infection.  When people have the flu, they may experience symptoms that range from aching muscles, to headaches, to fever.  While many people who develop influenza will make a full recovery, it is important to note that the virus can be deadly to elderly sufferers as well as young children.  Influenza is highly contagious and known to mutate and produce different strains.  In order to remain protected against new strains, people are encouraged to get regular flu vaccinations.

H3N2 is a subtype of Influenza Type A and symptoms may be alleviated with antiviral medications, proper hydration, and rest.  However, in cases where symptoms are prolonged, it is important that people seek medical help immediately as it is reported that over 36,000 people die from this seasonal influenza annually.