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US Region 4 Influenza A Cases Raise trH3N2 Concerns
Recombinomics Commentary 10:00
November 13, 2011

Region 4 Normal 2.0% 0 of 8 1 0 31 16 0

The above data is from the latest (week 44) CDC FluView, which indicates only 1 of the 32 influenza A positive samples from Region 4 (AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, TN), representing the southeastern region of the United States, has been sub-typed (and it was H3N2).

This deplorable frequency is astonishing since the CDC is headquartered in Atlanta, GA and has requested samples from patients with flu-like conditions due to the trH3N2 cases initially identified in Indiana and Pennsylvania.  The original request was for samples from patients with a swine exposure, but the CDC has failed to link any of the 7 confirmed cases from Indiana, Pennsylvania, or Maine with symptomatic swine, and the novel constellation of genes in the human cases has never been reported in swine in the US or anywhere in the world.

Currently, doctors and hospitals cannot test for trH3N2 because there is no commercial test and PCR testing specific for trH3N2 or sequencing is limited to the CDC.  State labs can test fro influenza A, as well as seasonal H3 or pandemic H1, but samples which are influenza A positive and negative or inconclusive for sub-typing are sent to the CDC for trH3N2 testing.  However, samples that are not sub-typed, as seen for 31/32 influenza A positive samples in Region 4, are not characterized further.

The CDC’s lack of surveillance and testing on these influenza A positive samples in general and Region 4 in particular (which has the highest level of reported influenza A cases in the US), is a national disgrace and hazardous to the world's health.

These samples should be sent (or walked) to the CDC and tested immediately.

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