Report: New flu spreading quickly

New flu strain transmitted from pigs to humans

SAN ANTONIO - Much like humans, pigs get the flu. In particular, they can get a strain called H3N2 Variant.

H3N2 Variant was discovered in pigs in 2010, then last year in humans.

Last year, the Centers for Disease Control had 27 cases. But this year, that number has skyrocketed to 267 since the month of July.

The H3N2 Variant flu strain hasn't hit Texas yet but many fear it won't be long, with several states already seeing cases. Some, such as Indiana, have seen dozens.

Dr. Shahed Izaddoost, with North Hills Family Medicine & Pediatrics Westover, said they are seeing many cases in children because children typically handle pigs in petting zoos.

"The biggest thing are for people who go to state fairs and have a lot of contact with kids," Izaddoost said.

Pigs transmit the disease to humans by sneezing or coughing in close proximity.

Symptoms are much like the regular flu and so is prevention.

Izaddoost recommends washing hands frequently, covering your cough and, if you fall into the at-risk groups, stay away from any place you might find pigs.

The current flu vaccine doesn't protect form this strain.


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