Two children infected with new swine flu strain

09/03/2011 21:48

MSNBC:  Two cases of a new strain of swine-flu related infection have been reported in young children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Friday.

The infections, identified in late August, involved an Indiana boy and girl from Pennsylvania, both under age 5.

The particular strain the children contracted hasn't been seen before, said Tom Skinner, CDC spokesman.

While the CDC typically sees a few cases a year of H3N2 (an influenza A virus), usually as result of contact with swine, "what's new is that it has picked up a gene from the H1N1 pandemic strain," said Skinner.

The two children had received flu vaccines in September 2010, which protected against H1N1, but wouldn't protect against the new strain.

In July, the boy was taken to a hospital emergency department with flulike symptoms of fever, cough and diarrhea, where a respiratory test confirmed influenza A (H3). The boy, who has multiple chronic health conditions, was briefly hospitalized. He had not been directly exposed to swine but a caretaker had been in direct contact with swine in the weeks before the boy became ill.

In August, the girl was also taken to a hospital emergency department with similar symptoms and discharged. A few days before she became sick with a fever, cough and lethargy, she reportedly visited an agricultural fair where she was exposed to swine.

Scientists found no specific link between the two cases. No additional human cases have been detected, the CDC reported.

"There's no evidence of sustained transmission from human to human," Skinner said. "Investigations are ongoing to better understand the extent of the impact of these two cases on the public health."

Both children have recovered.

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