Third case of rare swine flu variant found in southern Manitoba
Published Monday, June 21, 2021 12:11PM CST
WINNIPEG -- A third case of a rare swine flu variant has been identified in southern Manitoba.
The variant Influenza H3N2 was detected earlier this month.
The person experienced mild symptoms and was initially tested for COVID-19.
That test came back negative, but further testing discovered the swine flu variant.
The province says the case appears to be isolated and there is no increased risk to people or the food supply chain.
Two other cases of different swine flu variants were identified in people in southern Manitoba in April.
The variants Influenza A H1N2 and A H1N1 also were detected after people were tested for COVID-19 after experiencing mild flu symptoms. Both of the people had had direct or indirect exposure to pigs.
The province says the three cases are unrelated.
There have been 29 cases globally of the H1N2 variant since 2005 when reporting became mandatory. The only other Canadian case was identified in Alberta last year.
The H1N1 variant is also rarely seen in humans. Manitoba's case is the second in Canada following one identified in Ontario in 2012. There were two cases in the United States earlier this year.
All the people have since recovered.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the H3N2 variant was first detected in people in 2011. It says the variant seems to spread more easily to humans from pigs than other swine influenza viruses.
Manitoba health officials and the Agriculture Department have begun a public health investigation to make sure there's no spread of the variant.
The viruses are not food-related and are not transmissible to people through pork meat or other products that come from pigs, the province says.
Health officials have said the cases could have coincidentally been discovered because of increased screening taking place because of the COVID-19 pandemic. They say it's also possible there is a true increase in the number of cases.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 21, 2021.