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H3N2pdm11 Human Transmission A Mystery
The new swine flu strain has drawn particular interest because none of the Iowa children sickened last month — all of whom have recovered and are doing fine — nor their families, had known contact with pigs, suggesting person-to-person transmission.
“That’s the mystery of it,” said Dimond. “Flu, by its definition, is unpredictable. That’s one of the vexing characteristics of the virus.”
But so far, he said, “the virus has not shown any sustained human-to-human transference. We’re keeping an eye on it” as the Iowa Health Department leads the investigation.
The above comments are from an ABC News report on H3N2pdm11 (trH3N2 with H1N1pdm09 M gene). Although major news organizations are beginning to notice the virus, following the CDC’s early release MMWR on the Iowa cluster which forced the WHO alert, the media reports are calling H3N2pdm11 a “puzzle” and now a “mystery”, which largely stems from the CDC narrative on swine exposure and calling the virus S-OtrH3N2 (Swine-Origin triple reassortant H3N2 to maintain that narrative. Moreover, their request for samples from patients with “swine exposure” (after the detection of the Iowa cluster) and an increase in surveillance in the neighborhood of the Iowa daycare center raises serious concerns.
The CDC released trH3N2 sequences almost exact one year ago, and the sequences from 2010 clearly demonstrate a virus that is adapting to humans, which was the precursor for the human contagion, H3N2pdm11, which emerged in 2011, and is at far higher levels than the 10 confirmed cases.
The response to H3N2pdm11 is far different than the response to H1N1pdm09, which included a dramatic increase in surveillance. In contrast, in 2011 most influenza samples are not sub-typed, and sequencing efforts are minimal. The expected at risk population are children and 9 of the 10 H3N2pdm11 confirmed cases are under 10 years of age, yet the CDC has only released sequences from 12 such cases that were influenza A positive since July, 2011, and 9 of the 12 sequences were H3N2pdm11.
The only mystery or puzzle regarding H3N2pdm11 is the abysmal level of surveillance and sequencing in the under 10 population, which has an H3N2pdm11 sequence frequency of 75%.