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H3N2v Testing Halt In Champaign County Ohio
Recombinomics Commentary 09:00
August 11, 2012

The three "probable confirmed" cases are among eight Influenza A cases reported by local health care providers to the county Health District.

Hiddleson said her staff has taken calls from others with flu-like symptoms and that they have been told to treat fever and discomfort and only call a doctor if they are at high risk for flu complications.

Hiddleson said the local flu does not appear to be transmitted from person to person, but that her staff will monitor this as well as any confirmed cases in coming weeks. She said the incubation period is three to seven days, so more cases may be coming.

The above comments describe a halt in testing of mild H3N2v cases in Champaign County, Ohio, where 3 patients have tested H3N2v positive at the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and 5 more are symptomatic with influenza-like illness (ILI).  However, this is a recent outbreak and the 3 confirmed cases were not included in the ODH August 10 update which raises the confirmed cases to 36 (from 30) and counties with confirmed cases to 8 (from 6).

As noted in the CDC August 9 telebriefing, there is little seasonal flu in the United States at this time, so ILI cases are likely to be H3N2v, especially if linked to attendance at an agricultural fair.  However, claims of no human to human transmission are largely based on a lack of testing or reporting, since the CDC has emphasized swine contact for an H3N2v sub-clade that has documented human to human transmission in West Virginia where the two confirmed cases were at a day care center and had no swine contact or exposure, yet at least 22 additional contacts had ILI.

In Gallia County, Ohio  .  The latest ODH has increased the number of confirmed Gallia cases to six (from four).  However, since 2/3 of those who were H3N2v infected tested negative, and only a subset of the influenza A positive were sent to ODH, the number confirmed will be a gross undercount, and monitoring of human to human transmission will be compromised.

The halt in testing of a novel influenza has striking parallels with the 2009 pandemic when mild cases were told to not seek medical treatment unless they were at risk.

The control reported cases in a pandemic by refusing to test is the current status throughout the country for those without swine contact.

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