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CDC trH3N2 H2H Transmission Qualifiers Speak Volumes
Recombinomics Commentary 22:00
November 4, 2011

Two human infections with novel influenza A viruses were detected in individuals from two states (Indiana and Maine).

There is no evidence of an epidemiological link between these two patients and no sustained human-to-human transmission of these viruses has been found in either state.

The above comments from the CDC’s week 43 FluView have qualifiers that not only more accurately reflect the testing being reported, but also indirectly acknowledge that the finding of the same constellation of triple reassortants in humans has only been previously seen for H1N1pdm09. 

Thus, although US triple reassortant cases have been reported since 2005, and trH3N2 cases have been reported since 2009, the identical constellation in three or more cases was reported for the first time when the initial cases in Indiana and Pennsylvania were acknowledged in September 6, 2011. The three additional cases in October leave no doubt that that a trH3N2 human contagion has emerged, but media reports are still focused on the swine exposure and similarities to other triple reassortant cases reported since 2005.

This focus is due in part to the higher profile CDC reports such as the “Have You Heard?” series as well as the earlier release MMWR in September.  However, the assurances offered in the earlier reports have been voided by subsequent sequences, which is only acknowledged indirectly by the evolving CDC comments on sustained H2H transmission, as seen above.

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