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H3N2v (variant) Influenza and Swine Contact
UMASH Technical Safety Bulletin
What is H3N2v (variant) flu?
H3N2v is a type of swine influenza (flu) virus that
recently has caused illness in some people with
direct or indirect contact with pigs; as of August 17
2012, there have been 225 reported cases in people
in the United States. This virus was first detected in
people in the United States in July 2011.
What do the letters and numbers mean?
H3N2v is just one of many types of flu, and the
letters and numbers serve to distinguish different
flu viruses. A “v” or "variant" designation is
applied when a virus that normally circulates in
pigs is found in humans.
How is the H3N2v flu transmitted to people?
H3N2v appears to be mostly spread by direct contact
with pigs infected with the virus. The virus is not
readily spread person to person.
Where did this new influenza virus come from?
The specific origin of the H3N2v flu virus is
unknown at this time. The genetic code of flu viruses
do change often, which is why a new seasonal flu
vaccine is needed each year.