Canadian Poultry Magazine

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Variant H1N1 swine influenza found in Ontario man


September 25, 2012
By Helen Branswell the Canadian Press

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Ontario has found a case of an infection with a new swine flu virus, in a man who worked with pigs.

The infection was caused by an H1N1-variant virus, which is not the swine flu virus that has been jumping from pigs to people in the United States this summer.

That virus, an H3N2-variant, has caused 305 infections this year in the U.S. but has not been spotted in Canada to date. Most infections with the H3N2-variant flu have been in people who visited pig barns at state and county fairs.

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Dr. Arlene King, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, said the man is being treated in a hospital in southwestern Ontario. She did not indicate whether that is as a precaution or because he is seriously ill.

“It’s likely an isolated occurrence,” she said.

The man worked with pigs in both Canada and the United States, but it’s still unclear where he may have picked up the new virus, she said.

The new virus is one that rarely spreads from animals to people, and human-to-human spread is also rare. So far, none of the man’s family or friends are showing signs of illness, King said.

She urged people to remember that hand washing and getting a flu shot are the best way to protect against contracting the flu.