Influenza A.UK on alert after first human case of pig virus discovered
UK health authorities are tracing nearby contacts and investigating the source to avoid a possible incident.
Human infection with influenza A (H1N2), a common swine virus, has been detected for the first time in the UK. The infected person has fully recovered, but the source of the infection remains unknown. The country’s Health Security Agency is taking measures to prevent the spread of the disease.
The case was discovered the next day, November 27, during seasonal influenza surveillance. The patient experienced only mild symptoms and did not require hospitalization. However, the findings are worrying Public Health England, who are continuing to investigate the possible problem.
“Through routine influenza surveillance and genome sequencing, we have successfully detected this virus. This is the first time we have detected it in humans in the UK, but it is very similar to pathogens detected in humans. We are working hard to find it as soon as possible nearby contacts and reduce any potential spread. Meera Chand, incident manager at UKHSA, explained: “We are following established protocols and are investigating to find out how the person was exposed infected, and confirm whether there are other related cases. “
The UK Health Safety Authority has formally notified the World Health Organization of the findings. Since 2005, there have been almost 50 cases of human infection with this influenza worldwide. The new case is the first to be discovered in the UK and has no genetic relationship to previous cases.
H1N1, H1N2, and H3N2 are the major subtypes of swine influenza A viruses that occasionally infect humans. In 2009, a pandemic was recorded caused by the H1N1 influenza, which is also related to the Spanish Flu of 1918 that killed thousands of people. Currently, the virus circulates seasonally in humans.