First Human Case of New Swine Flu Strain Detected in the UK

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In the UK, an infection with a specific swine flu virus has been confirmed. The H1N2 variant had not been previously documented in the country, according to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), which announced it on Monday. While slightly different from the recent strains affecting Britons, it bears resemblance to viruses found in British swine.

The Influenza A(H1N2)v pathogen was detected in a single case during routine surveillance using a PCR test, according to the statement. The individual, tested due to respiratory symptoms, experienced a mild illness and has since fully recovered. The source of the infection was initially unknown.

Swine flu is a common viral respiratory illness in pigs, with significant subtypes being H1N1, H1N2, H3N2, and H3N1. The designations H and N refer to the two proteins of the virus envelope: Hemagglutinin and Neuraminidase. In some cases, transmission to humans occurs, typically resulting in mild cases. However, there is a risk of the virus evolving into a more dangerous, human-to-human transmissible form.

The UKHSA stated that the situation is under close observation, and surveillance measures have been intensified in parts of North Yorkshire. Meera Chand, responsible for such incidents at UKHSA, emphasized ongoing efforts to identify close contacts and minimize potential transmission.

According to UKHSA, there have been 50 recorded cases of Influenza A(H1N2)v in humans worldwide since 2005. None of these cases, genetically related to the currently identified variant (1b.1.1), were reported.

In 2009, a variant of the H1N1 subtype spread from Mexico to many countries. Initial concerns diminished as it became evident that the illnesses generally had milder outcomes than initially feared.

Link: UKHSA detects human case of influenza A(H1N2)v – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)